Celebrating breast cancer ‘survivorship’ at UI Health

Videography by Rachel Glass


Everything was pink Friday outside the UI Hospital as cancer survivors, family, friends and supporters celebrated Breast Cancer Survivors’ Day.

“This event was initiated because we needed to celebrate life,” said Alejandra Perez-Tamayo, associate professor of surgery and one of the event’s organizers.

“We needed to celebrate the journey that the breast cancer survivor made, and also to tell them that we’re still here for the rest of that journey.”

The event included music, dancing, food, refreshments and discussion by those who have been impacted by breast cancer.

“When you go through such a traumatic situation as cancer, whether it’s breast cancer or any type of cancer, your whole world is just turned upside down,” said Stephanie Logan, founder of Survivors Empowerment Network, a support group for cancer patients.

“You feel like you’re the only one, and the truth is that you’re not,” she said.

Dawn Smith, director of communications at the University of Illinois Cancer Center, said organizers wanted to inform patients of the resources available to them and help others understand what “survivorship” means.

“We look at survivorship from the moment a patient is diagnosed,” Smith said. “That is their survivorship.”

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