Almost 200 Attend Tanner’s Celebration of Life
Posted Date: 5/9/2014
Almost 200 cancer survivors and their guests came out Thursday night for Tanner Health System’s fifth annual Celebration of Life.
The celebration, hosted by Tanner Health System and Tanner Cancer Care at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, featured hors d’oeuvres and dessert, as well as several inspirational speakers and the debut of Tanner’s inspirational “Overcomer” video.
“This is really special,” said guest speaker Kenn Kington. “You just don’t see hospitals doing things like this, celebrating their patients.”
Kington, an Atlanta-based comedian who’s appeared on Comedy Central and is heard on satellite radio stations like Laugh USA and Blue Collar Comedy, talked about his own experience watching his daughter, then 3, battle cancer.
When she lost her hair to chemotherapy, Kington had her shave his own head, too. He said they spent an hour out on the porch with clippers, a comb and scissors, until his wife finally came out and said it looked like he “has mange.”
His daughter said that she was told her hair might grow back curly because of the cancer treatments, and she asked how his would look when his grew back.
“I said, ‘Well, honey, I just hope it does grow back,’” Kington said.
The event also featured an emotional welcome from David Shepard, MD, a medical oncologist with Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers and part of the patient care team at Tanner Cancer Care.
“It’s so wonderful to be here with you tonight,” Dr. Shepard said. “It’s just so wonderful to see so many of you doing so well.”
Dr. Shepard talked about the power of faith in overcoming cancer.
“It’s like I tell my patients, we treat, but God heals,” he said.
Larry Steed, senior vice president and chief administrative operations officer for Tanner Health System, welcomed guests and recognized members of the Tanner Cancer Care team and members of Tanner Cancer Care’s Patient Advisory Council, which provides feedback to the cancer care program from a patient’s perspective.
Ashley Hallford, of Douglasville and a 1999 graduate of Douglas County High School, talked of her experience having been diagnosed with cancer very early in her pregnancy, and raising a premature baby while battling cancer. She now shares her story of survival with groups throughout the region, and introduced Tanner’s “Overcomer” video Thursday night.
The video features cancer care providers, survivors and the song “Overcomer” by gospel and Christian contemporary recording artist Mandisa — the title track to her 2014 Grammy award-winning album. It can be viewed and shared online at www.TannerCancerCare.org.