Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Southeastern Regional Medical Center (Southeastern) is readying for what employees describe as the hospital’s own holiday – Celebrate Life® – an inspirational experience that honors cancer survivors.
On March 31, celebrants from 18 states, including Georgia, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida, will celebrate five or more years since beginning treatment at CTCA®. This marks the hospital’s fifth Celebrate Life event, a rich tradition across the CTCA national hospital network.
During Celebrate Life, each survivor is honored with a ceremonial tree planted in his or her name to symbolize their fighting spirit and hope for years to come. Each celebrant's name is also added to the "Tree of Life" located in the hospital lobby as a lasting reminder of the courage and strength of cancer survivors, and as inspiration for those in the fight.
“This event brings the entire hospital team such fulfillment. It unites us in the most meaningful way and brings us back to the very reason we do what we do,” said Dr. Brion Randolph, chief of medical oncology, medical director of hematologic oncology and member of the hospital’s opening team. “And this is a milestone year since a majority of our celebrants began treating with us when we opened our doors five years ago.”
Terri Rainey, a colon and ovarian cancer survivor from Northport, Ala., looks forward to getting her name added to the “Tree of Life” – a personal goal since learning about the tradition.
“Cancer is now part of my story that I can celebrate because it has changed me and made me a better, stronger person,” said Rainey. “As a five year survivor, I’m able to encourage others who are seeking help and offer hope to them in what seems like a hopeless situation.”
CTCA at Southeastern, which opened its doors in August 2012, is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Cancer and National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. The hospital has served more than 10,000 new patients from across the Southeast and beyond, while generating more than $1.7 billion in new economic activity in Georgia, according to a study by the University of West Georgia’s Richards College of Business.