St. Jude welcomes survivors for annual conference

Photography by Peter Barta

Past and present St. Jude patients connected with their caregivers on the hospital campus in late October for the 14th annual Survivors Day Conference. Survivors were welcomed back during an October 26 reception by caregivers and other hospital staff members who accompanied them on their treatment journeys.

Melissa Hudson, MD, St. Jude Cancer Survivorship Division director, moderated a Survivors Day expert panel October 27, which included Les Robison, PhD, St. Jude Epidemiology and Cancer Control chair; Michael Link, MD, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford; Ruth Rechis, PhD, LIVESTRONG, who is also a St. Jude cancer survivor; Julia Rowland, PhD, director of the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Survivorship; and Susan Weiner, PhD, Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy. The discussion, which was also webcast, focused on the late effects of childhood cancer treatment.

Five former St. Jude patients also participated in a webcast panel moderated by Stuart Kaplan, MD, St. Jude Hospitalist Program. Patients shared their stories of treatment and life after disease. Longtime St. Jude supporter and cancer survivor Randy Owen, lead vocalist of the band Alabama, concluded the conference with a live performance. More than 100 survivors attended the weekend event.