CCMC holds ice cream social and celebration

PARKERSBURG – A number of cancer survivors and hospital staffmembers involved in cancer care gathered Sunday in the courtyard of the St. Joseph’s Campus of Camden Clark Medical Center for a small ice cream social and celebration.

Reinnie Leavitt, director of the Cancer Center at CCMC, said Sunday was the 27th annual National Cancer Survivors Day, which is celebrated on the first Sunday of June each year.

This is the first year CCMC has participated locally in the annual celebration and only a few dozen people turned out for Sunday’s event, but she hopes to see it grow in the future in participation, awareness and involvement.

The social featured cake, ice cream and other refreshments, along with live music under the trees and sunny sky in the central courtyard of the St. Joseph’s campus. With the anticipated closure of the campus, Leavitt said a new location will need to be found for next year’s event but she believes it will continue and grow.

“We’re looking forward to it already,” she said.

“We’re not specific to where you had your treatment or what kind of treatment you had, we’re just celebrating all of the wonderful things that come with each extra day that a cancer survivor has. They’re thankful for every day and we’re honored to participate in their care and their survival,” Leavitt said.

Doris Ruble and her neighbor Jennifer Wright, both of Parkersburg, attended Sunday’s event together.

Ruble said she is a “40-some year” survivor of cancer and liked Sunday’s event at St. Joseph’s. She hoped to see the first-time event grow in the future and also appreciated all that is done for cancer patients, having worked as a nurse at both campuses in past years.

Wright said she is a three-year breast cancer survivor and was also enjoying Sunday’s event.

“I’m glad they started it and I hope they continue to do it year after year,” Wright said. “I’m hoping more people will get involved in it.”

Wright believes there is a strong foundation of services and supports for cancer patients and their families in the Mid-Ohio Valley, through local hospitals and organizations.

“I think more and more people are getting involved, that they know this is an actual disease and more and more people are getting it,” she said.

The Cancer Center has been part of CCMC since the 1970s and has continued to grow and change, working with organizations like the American Cancer Society to offer a wide range of in-house and joint programs and services for cancer patients.

“It’s a comprehensive program, which means that not only do we offer cancer treatments that people think of right off the bat – like chemotherapy and radiation therapy – but we offer all of the support services to go along with that,” Leavitt said, along with outreach programs, navigation programs and others.