Courtesy of NWIndianaLife.com
Written by Dan Petreikis
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is certainly a life-changing event, but with the help of outstanding medical care and support, it doesn’t necessarily have to be life-ending. For over ten years, Methodist Hospitals has held their annual Spring Spa Day, continuing their commitment to providing state-of-the-art medical treatment to patients, and emotional support to cancer survivors and those who continue to battle the disease.
“Each year, Methodist sets aside a day to honor our female cancer survivors,” said Stacy Knox, Manager of the Oncology Institute at Methodist Hospitals. “It’s a day of pampering, a day for us to love on them and let them know how much we care. They can come here and receive a free mini-manicure, free express facials and more.”
Knox was clearly passionate about the importance of providing support to those battling the disease.
“The day that a person is told that they have cancer is one of the most memorable, most impactful days of their lives, and we don’t take that lightly. It’s very important to us to be with them through that time, to support them and to go through the process with them, and we look to carry that support straight through to survivorship for these women,” Knox said.
Originally held on-site at the hospital, the event quickly outgrew the available space and has since moved to the Hellenic Cultural Center in Merrillville. Visitors to the event enjoyed a free hot breakfast buffet, chair massages, express facials, mini manicures, reiki therapy and more. More than twenty vendors were on hand to offer goods and services.
“Many of our vendors are themselves cancer survivors or know someone who either survived cancer or is battling the disease. It seems that being here means the most to them,” Knox said.
Teresa Cruz was one of the vendors at the event and plans to donate the proceeds from her booth to the Pink Ribbon Society.
“I was diagnosed in 2015,” Cruz said. “I attended the spa here a few years ago, shortly after my diagnosis. I was able to meet and speak with other survivors. I gave others my testimony to them. It made me feel good to be able to encourage them to be strong and have faith that they will get through.”
Samera Mohammed is a cancer survivor who works as a technician in the Methodist Hospitals Behavioral Medicine department.
“I was diagnosed at a very young age,” Mohammed said. “Having the love and support of family and friends is so important. It really helps you get through the rough times. It builds you up.”
“I just think that seeing the outpouring of love here today for these women is amazing.”
The event also featured a healthy cooking demonstration and a free raffle with over 80 baskets given out. Music was provided by several local musicians, including Sinfonia Esprit, St. Timothy’s Community Church Men’s Chorus and the Merrillville High School Choir. The event was made possible through the generous support and donations from dozens of local businesses and individuals, including Albanese Candy Factory, Gary SouthShore Railcats, Indiana Surgical Associates, Premiere Oncology & Cancer Medicine Group, Southlake Auto Mall, Strack & Van Til and many others.
For more information, contact Methodist Hospitals at https://www.methodisthospitals.org/.