FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - More than 30 patients who have received care at Broward Health North were the guests of honor at a cancer survivor celebration dinner at the hospital on Monday, June 12.
Anyone living with a history of cancer, starting from the time of their initial diagnosis, is considered a cancer survivor.
“Events like this provide cancer survivors an opportunity to connect and support each other,” said hematologist/oncologist Mehmet Hepgur, M.D., Broward Health Physician Group. “It’s very meaningful to them and heart-warming for those of us who care for them along the way.”
Two patients spoke at the event, including Michael Churchward, who was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in May 2022 by his dermatologist. After general surgeon Camil N. Sader, M.D., removed the tumor, Churchward began a year-long treatment plan consisting of 16 Keytruda immunotherapy infusion treatments under the care of Dr. Hepgur.
Churchward credits his ability to stay optimistic during treatment to getting past the “why me” stage and finding things to be grateful for, including his life partner, Bonnie, who was by his side every step of the way during his treatment, and the caregivers at Broward Health North.
“From the first day, everyone at Dr. Hepgur’s office greeted us with warmth and caring and we knew immediately we were in the right place,” said Churchward. “It was a tough year, but every three weeks we found ourselves looking forward to the treatment just to see these awesome people.”
Thirty-seven-year-old Androv Narcisse, a former employee of Broward Health North, also spoke at the event. He was shocked when he was diagnosed with sinus cancer after going to the Emergency Department because he was feeling poorly.
“It’s been a humbling experience. I’m very grateful to my parents, sisters and my niece, my little angel and the best nurse ever,” said Narcisse. “I want to thank the staff here at Broward Health North; they have honestly been like a second family to me.”
His message to fellow cancer survivors was this: “Keep on fighting, don’t give up. I’m proud of you all and we’re going to beat this thing called cancer.”
Other speakers at the event were Dr. Hepgur, Broward Health North CEO Matthew K. Garner and Broward Health North Regional Manager of Cancer Services Brian McAuley.
To learn more about Broward Health’s cancer services, visit BrowardHealth.org/BeatCancer.