Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital finds creative solution for Celebration of Life event

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - People honked horns, blasted music, and cheered together Friday, September 24, at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital to celebrate all cancer survivors.

SMJH’s Phillips Cancer Center made special accommodations during the summer to make Friday’s drive-thru event possible.

“Cancer patients are cancer survivors. Anybody that’s been touched by cancer is really a survivor,” Cancer Center Medical Director Erika Strubel said.

This event usually has survivors gathering inside in one room. However, the coronavirus pandemic pushed everyone outside.

“We are busy as ever, really. COVID may have made us all take a break, but unfortunately cancer doesn’t brake for anything,” Strubel said.

SMJH kept the celebration safe by turning it into a drive-thru party. There was the usual dancing, just with a few more car horns this time around.

“When we see and celebrate our cancer survivors, it is a celebration that we can really feel from our heart,” Strubel said. “It’s such an important time for both our patients, and for our staff and everybody that’s associated with our program. We really felt like we needed to make it happen this year.”

All of the cancer survivors left with flowers, cupcakes, and smiles.

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