Dec 27, 2011 -
MANCHESTER, CONNECTICUT –Eastern Connecticut Health Network’s (ECHN) MEG BERTÉ OWEN CANCER SURVIVORSHIP FUND was the recipient of proceeds from the sales of Team Meg tee-shirts and hoodies that spread the message of hope for cancer survivors. The yellow tee-shirts were worn by participants during the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day. More than $10,300 was raised.
Meg Berté Owen lost her battle with the late-term effects of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer treatment on October 15, 2009, at the young age of 37, after first being diagnosed at age 23. For over 14 years, Meg learned that patients should navigate their “survivorship path” throughout the rest of their lives, and wanted others to know people with cancer can live longer and have much better lives through survivorship.
Cancer survivorship became Meg’s passion – it’s the movement to reduce the late-term effects of cancer treatments; to increase the surveillance for recurring cancers; and to overcome the physical, mental and spiritual effects the disease and its treatment can impose upon entire families.
The Cancer Survivorship Program at the John A. DeQuattro Cancer Center was created in response to Meg’s desire that people with cancer, their families and their support system receive access to programs and support – especially after treatment is completed and the biggest obstacles begin to surface – that are not covered by their standard care plan, but are essential to living one’s best life.
This much-needed survivorship care plan details the treatment and outlines a follow-up plan for the patient’s future appointments and care at no cost. It offers supportive individual and family counseling, education and assistance with surveillance for recurring cancers, as well as addresses the psychosocial needs of patients and their families. It is critical to assess and manage patient care issues such as anxiety, depression, genetic testing, fertility, chronic pain, employment, disability, and nutrition and education for patients and caregivers through monthly Survivors Club meetings.
“Important to note, in our minds”, says Sira Berté Pearson, “is educating the community on what survivorship is and means, and what services are available through the John A. DeQuattro Cancer Center. We feel there is a need to get all of this information out there as this is such new thinking – that a cancer diagnosis does not mean the end, but now with complementary survivorship programs such as ECHN's, one has the opportunity to live one's best life – and always be supported.”
Funding for the ECHN Survivorship Program comes solely from the Meg Berté Owen Cancer Survivorship Fund, which receives donations from individual and corporate philanthropic efforts.
Special thanks go out to all individuals and organizations that supported this fundraiser through generous financial support and in-kind donations. Thanks to Team Meg members Jodi Huyler (Team Captain), Daryl-Lynn Dubaldo Michaud, Jennifer Musto, and Michele Callahan. Also very special thanks for in-kind donations from Gray Wolf Design and Production, owned by Jennifer Musto, which provided all graphic art, design, web programming and the teammeg.org web site. Our appreciation to A.R.M. Screen Printing Co., which went above and beyond to provide the high-quality shirts and hoodies in a timely and cost-effective fashion. Corey Wry, owner of CW’s Catch ‘N’ Chops, donated 10% of all sales at the restaurant on November 22, 2011 while agreeing to sell merchandise on site. Molly Devanney, Manager of Highland Park Market, sold shirts on site, hung posters and shirts in the store and even trained her staff to know how to check out clients purchasing at the store, furthering marketing efforts.
ECHN holds many annual events throughout the year and partners with corporations for maximum marketing opportunities. For information on how to be a part of future ECHN Community Healthcare Foundation events, please call 860.872.5305.
Sira Berté Pearson, Susan Berté, Tom Berté and daughter Mia, Ben Berté and nephew Sam Pearson, Nikki Berté, Brian Pearson and, Paul Berté.