A runway of hope for cancer patients
Many of the services and programs provided to Bayhealth cancer patients are made possible because of generous gifts and contributions from individuals, businesses, and organizations in our local communities. Runway of Hope — a fundraiser featuring a silent auction, luncheon, and fashion show that supports the Bayhealth Cancer Institute’s Survivorship Program — is one way the community makes a positive impact on the lives of cancer patients.
Bayhealth hosted its eighth annual Runway of Hope fundraiser on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, and the event raised $87,494 for the Survivorship Program. Bayhealth Cancer Nurse Navigator Renee Hall, RN, and breast cancer survivor and Bayhealth Cardiology Manager Cathy Mundorf, BS, RRT, attended this year’s event as participants in the Survivorship Program.
“It’s always nice to see the committee, staff from the Cancer Institute and Bayhealth Foundation, and members of our local community come together to support what we do as cancer nurse navigators for our Survivorship Program,” said Hall.
As part of the Survivorship Program, the nurse navigators present patients who have finished treatment with a document containing their treatment summary — from the time they’re diagnosed through the completion of surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation. “We review the summary with the patient, and then we talk about the importance of follow-up care and living a healthy lifestyle, which includes things such as diet and exercise, to help prevent recurrence or second cancers. We also discuss and validate the challenges of adjusting to life after receiving a cancer diagnosis and treatment,” explained Hall.
“We address any fears the survivor may have, such as the cancer coming back or possible body image concerns,” she continued. “We also offer referrals for ongoing counseling and any other resources or support they need. Essentially, we want to ensure survivors understand our relationship doesn’t end just because they have completed their treatment.”
Mundorf said she appreciates how Runway of Hope supports and focuses on the importance of the Survivorship Program. “It was a lovely event and nice to see how members of the community and other Bayhealth staff come together to acknowledge how difficult it is being a cancer survivor and that you need much more support than just medical treatment,” she said. “Life is never the same. As a cancer survivor, it’s not uncommon to have moments of panic and anxiety. I have peace of mind knowing Renee is only a phone call away for emotional support and even to help me with practical needs such as completion of FMLA paperwork.”
“Survivorship begins at diagnosis,” said Rishi Sawhney, MD, medical director of the Bayhealth Cancer Institute. “Our goal is to equip each patient with a comprehensive plan during and after treatment, beginning at the initial conversation with their nurse navigator.”
Dr. Sawhney said the support from Runway of Hope and the community helps offset the costs of the Survivorship Program. “The generosity of our community enables our patients to have access to first-class survivorship care throughout their cancer journey,” he said.
Other recent contributions
Here are a few other examples of how the community has supported Bayhealth cancer patients in 2018.
C.F. Schwartz Toyota in Dover gave a generous gift to support Oncology Services at Bayhealth’s Kent Campus. Bayhealth Foundation Director of Development Chuck Desch (pictured on the left) accepted a check in the amount of $10,000 from C.F. Schwartz President Bob Schwartz and Secretary/Treasurer Linda Schwartz Chi.
For the second year in a row, Dover High School student Meghana Lodhavia made a substantial contribution to the Bayhealth Cancer Institute’s Helping Hands Fund, which provides financial assistance for cancer patients facing difficulty making ends meet while they’re undergoing treatment. She also helped second-grade students at St. Anne’s Episcopal School make get-well cards for Bayhealth’s cancer patients.
Visit Bayhealth's Cancer Services to learn more about Bayhealth’s cancer program. To find out how you can make a contribution to the Bayhealth Cancer Institute, visit BayhealthFoundation.org or call the Bayhealth Foundation at 302-744-7015.