June 24, 2014, Irvine, CA – St. Joseph Health and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will team up at tonight’s Angels game to recognize Cancer Survivorship Day and honor those who have survived the disease. The partnership is focused on raising awareness for the fight against cancer, which affects about half of all men and a third of all women in the United States.
Two St. Joseph Health cancer survivors will be recognized during the pregame ceremony. Daniel Mabbott, who was treated for stage IV lung cancer at St. Jude Medical Center’s Crosson Cancer Institute, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Several Angels players, including infielder John McDonald, catcher Hank Conger and pitcher Ernesto Frieri, are expected to wear headscarves during pregame warm-ups to honor survivors who have struggled with cancer.
“We’ve come a long way in the fight against cancer, but it’s crucial that we continue to raise awareness in our communities about ways to detect and treat cancer early,” said Sanjay Sharma, MD, medical oncologist and hematologist at St. Jude Medical Center’s Crosson Cancer Institute. “That’s why we’re so proud to be partnering with the Los Angeles Angels to honor those who have survived cancer, and share their stories as an inspiration to all of us. By coordinating our care, using the newest and best treatments, and offering support and resources to patients, we will be one step closer to finally beating this disease once and for all.”
New research, medicine, technology and treatment options have made surviving cancer a reality for millions of Americans in the past few years; more than 14 million cancer survivors now live in the United States. The Cancer Survivorship Day event continues an ongoing partnership between St. Joseph Health and the Angels to promote health education and awareness in communities across Orange County and Los Angeles.
“So often fans see ballplayers as role models, but the real role models are the doctors and patients who team up to fight cancer,” said John McDonald, Los Angeles Angels. “They’re setting an example for all of us that is more impressive than hitting a homer or getting a strikeout. They’re showing what you can truly accomplish with hard work and determination. As athletes, we need to do everything we can to support those with cancer and raise awareness regarding this terrible disease.”
About St. Joseph Cancer Survivors:
Daniel Mabbott, a 62-year-old retired auto mechanic, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer last year. Mabbott, who never smoked and who works out five days a week, underwent intensive chemotherapy for six months. He continued to exercise vigorously during treatment and has worked hard to stay healthy. He’s seen no progression in his disease. Mabbott was successfully treated at St. Jude Medical Center’s Crosson Cancer Institute.
“Thanks to the support of my family and friends and the outstanding caregivers at St. Jude Medical Center’s Crosson Cancer Institute, beating cancer has not just meant surviving – it’s meant living my life to the fullest,” said Mabbott. “I’m particularly grateful to the doctors and nurses at St. Jude for guiding me along this journey and helping me grow stronger every day.”
Judy Wilcox, a 69-year-old retired history teacher, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997. She knew long before her diagnosis the devastating impact of the disease; her mother died from breast cancer. Wilcox underwent treatment at Mission Hospital and her cancer is now in remission. She has been volunteering for more than 10 years at the Mission Hospital’s Breast Health Services at the Women’s Wellness Center, helping other women who have been diagnosed with the disease.
“Struggling with cancer has been a physical, emotional and spiritual journey. Going through this experience has made me more compassionate in helping and supporting other men and women with cancer,” Wilcox said. “That’s why it’s so important for organizations like the Angels and St. Joseph Health to raise awareness about detecting and treating cancer. It is equally important to provide post-treatment programs for patients and survivors so that they can have lives that are rich and fulfilled.”
St. Joseph Health’s Orange County hospitals -- Mission Hospital, St. Jude Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital --are recognized leaders in the fight against cancer. St. Joseph Health’s hospitals have also been distinguished with the STAR Program® certification, the gold standard in cancer rehabilitation. The STAR® (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) teams of experts have advanced training in meeting the unique needs of cancer patients, and provide an impressive array of individualized programs and services.
About St. Joseph Health:
St. Joseph Health (SJH) is a not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery system that includes 16 hospitals, physician organizations, home health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services, skilled nursing facilities and community outreach services. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, SJH remains rooted to the sisters’ traditions of assessing a community’s needs and adapting strategies to meet those needs. Today, SJH continues its work in the tradition of the sisters through its wide networks of outstanding services. In each region it serves, SJH reaches out to care for the poor and vulnerable, establishing and supporting many programs and services that benefit the community.