BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Dozens of cancer survivors gathered at New York-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville recently to celebrate and support each other.
Among them were Sandy Hayes and Bob Ward, a Bronxville couple who really know what supporting each other can mean to survivorship.
Just months after Hayes had recovered from a double mastectomy for breast cancer, Ward was diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the immune system.
This double whammy would be enough to knock anyone off their feet, but the pair, both in their late 60s at the time, fought back by, they said, staying positive and maintaining their healthy lifestyles.
“Neither of us ever thought that anything but a good outcome would come of it,” Ward said. “We stayed positive and never thought of the worst.”
Hayes walked to nearly every treatment. After his diagnosis, Ward continued to work and play at a local golf course, where, he said, no one suspected that he was sick.
Hayes said she’s glad she insisted on being treated locally despite her husband’s initial insistence that she go to a New York City hospital.
“I knew driving to the city would cause more stress,” Hayes said, adding she was impressed by the local hospital’s credentials, on-site oncology unit, genetic screening and counseling programs.
It didn’t take long to convince Ward his wife had made the right move.
“I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased at the professional care, concern and compassion they demonstrated while dealing with Sandy's cancer,” he said.
When it was Ward’s turn to seek cancer treatment, he didn’t think twice about where he wanted to go, he said.
The couple, now cancer-free, continue to live life to the fullest. Ward golfs regularly and Hayes is active with NYP/Lawrence's after-treatment cancer treatment survivorship and breast cancer support groups.
“We walked by the hospital every day and were glad we didn't need it. But when we needed it, it was here,” Ward said.
By the time it hosts next year’s National Cancer Survivors Day celebrations, the hospital’s new Surgery and Oncology Pavilion will be open where, it said, it will offer “an even greater level of expanded services and enhanced, multi-disciplinary cancer care close to home.”
The 291-bed acute-care facility serves residents of Westchester County and the Bronx. Its breast cancer support group meets from 5-6 p.m. the third Thursday of each month. For more information, call (914) 787-5997. Its cancer survivorship group meets from 4-5 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, call (914) 787-4115, or go to www.nyp.org/lawrence.
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