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Five-Year Cancer Survivor from Lemont Celebrates Life with more than 100 Fellow Survivors

John LaSota of Lemont (center) photographed with Christopher McCord Stephenson, DO, Medical Director of the Survivorship & Quality of Life Programs & Internist (left), and Jamie Stephenson, Board of Directors (right), at CTCA at Midwestern
John LaSota of Lemont (center) photographed with Christopher McCord Stephenson, DO, Medical Director of the Survivorship & Quality of Life Programs & Internist (left), and Jamie Stephenson, Board of Directors (right), at CTCA at Midwestern

John LaSota, a prostate cancer survivor from Lemont, Illinois, joined more than 100 five-year cancer survivors earlier this month for an emotional and momentous walk down a red carpet lined with hundreds of cheering family, friends, caregivers and hospital care team members, to celebrate five years of cancer survivorship. LaSota also took part in a tree planting ceremony, symbolizing the wonder of life and growth. The activities were all part of the annual Celebrate Life® event held at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA®) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern), a time for cancer survivors to come together to rejoice in their personal milestones and to support one another as they continue their cancer survivorship journey.

The 2014 Celebrate Life event marks the 26th year that a tree has been planted in honor of each five-year survivor, providing the nation with a thriving forest of life-giving trees representing cancer survivorship.  Participants honored represented 41 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island, each offering support and strength to others, as they proudly posed for a photo in front of their commemorative tree.

“In the past five years I’ve returned to running my financial planning firm, helping it grow and reach new levels of excellence,” said LaSota. “Being a five year survivor means that cancer is not a death sentence. CTCA has taught my family and me that through proper treatment and care, I can and will live a very productive life for many years to come.”

The 2014 Celebrate Life event also included a gourmet luncheon with natural and organic foods prepared by the culinary team from the Wholesome Bistro, the CTCA in-hospital restaurant. Each celebrant was also honored with an engraved gold leaf, which is proudly displayed on one of three ever-growing “trees of life” located within the hospital.

Before the day concluded, many of the five-year survivors took time to walk through the hospital to offer comfort and support to other patients and family members who are battling cancer.

“I am continually humbled and amazed at the strength, resilience and fortitude of our patients and their caregivers,” said Scott Jones, president and CEO of CTCA at Midwestern. “At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, our goal is to surround each patient with a Patient Empowered Care team delivering integrative, evidence based care throughout their journey so they can Celebrate Life every day.”

For more information on Celebrate Life or CTCA at Midwestern please visit: www.cancercenter.com/midwestern.

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center

Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center is a 73 bed specialty hospital dedicated to treating patients battling complex cancer.  CTCA® at Midwestern is nationally recognized for providing innovative and individualized cancer care and has been designated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) a Magnet Recognized® program, ranking the hospital as one of the top seven percent in the nation for nursing excellence.  CTCA at Midwestern has been designated by the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program (NQMBC®) as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™, ranking the hospital among the top centers in the country for quality breast cancer care.  CTCA at Midwestern is the only Certified Breast Center of Excellence in Illinois, and one of only 41 nationally.  As a member of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) the hospital also offers a Stem Cell Transplant and Cell Therapy program that provides a full spectrum of transplantation services and advanced treatment options for hematologic cancers. CTCA at Midwestern is proud to use the latest technology to offer advanced treatment for cancer and is currently one of only a few hospitals in the nation to combine recent advances in brain mapping and navigation to perform minimally invasive brain surgery on hard to reach brain tumors. For more information about CTCA, go to www.cancercenter.com.

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