Tags Posts tagged with "Stony Brook Cancer Center"

Stony Brook Cancer Center

Photo by Raymond Janis

Governor’s educational proposal dead on arrival

Here on Long Island, we love our schools, teachers and students. Our education system is the reason many come to the Island to raise their families because it contributes to strong, healthy communities and a balanced quality of life.

We should all be concerned that Gov. Kathy Hochul’s [D] proposed executive budget threatens our schools by ending the so-called “hold harmless” provision, which is a backdoor approach to cut millions of dollars in school aid. If the governor’s proposal is adopted, 56 school districts on Long Island will experience an instant decline in state funding. In Suffolk County, school districts will be out nearly $33 million in aid under the governor’s proposal.

These cuts would have a dramatic impact on our schools, students and communities. Additionally, cuts of this magnitude could result in larger class sizes, reduced staff, the elimination of athletic programs, extracurricular activities and clubs for students. These draconian cuts would also place additional burdens on Long Island homeowners, who already pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The governor’s educational proposal is a lose-lose for Long Island and countless communities throughout the state.

Making this situation even worse, much of this critical education aid is being siphoned off to pay for the state’s astronomical and growing commitment to the migrant crisis, to which over the past two years the governor has allocated $4.3 billion. Clearly, the governor and the leadership in the Legislature are incapable of managing this crisis in an attempt to balance the budget on the backs of hardworking families and students. This cannot be tolerated. Funding must be dedicated to school services for the benefit of families who play by the rules, pay the property taxes and have the right to a quality education.

As lawmakers, parents and concerned citizens, we must make our voices heard in opposition to the governor’s elimination of the “hold harmless” provision, fight to restore education funding to our schools and put our children’s needs and education first.

Anthony Palumbo [R]

New York State Senator, 1st District

Skin cancer prevention for winter season

The winter season brings cold winds and snowy weather, but it also can bring damage to your skin. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun damages your skin year-round, not just during the summer months.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., yet most cases can be prevented. UV radiation from the sun and indoor tanning lamps are the primary cause of skin cancer, and reducing your exposure can significantly reduce your cancer risk. Even on cold, winter days, UV radiation from the sun can cause damage to your skin, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice. Snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation, increasing the damage caused to your skin.

Sun protection is necessary every day, regardless of the weather or time of year. Sun safe practices such as applying sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, UV protective sunglasses and long-sleeved clothing, and seeking shade whenever possible, can help prevent skin cancer.

The Cancer Prevention in Action at Stony Brook Cancer Center works to build awareness about the dangers of UV radiation and promote the benefits of sun safety through education, awareness and policy support to reduce skin cancer rates on Long Island.

To learn more about Cancer Prevention in Action, visit takeactionagainstcancer.com or contact us at 631-444-4263 and [email protected].

CPiA is supported with funds from Health Research Inc. and New York State..

Cancer Prevention in Action

Stony Brook Cancer Center

Pro-life, pro-choice issue from a gender fairness perspective

Not surprisingly, in contemplating the pro-life/pro-choice debate, women as a group are pro-choice and men pro-life. This is demonstrated in multiple polls and although not absolute gender adherence, there is a statistical difference. No doubt this is because women bear the physical reality of pregnancy and childbirth and almost always of raising and paying for the child that two people created. A man’s role of planting the seed does not match their female partner — whether consensual or not. No wonder there is a clear distinction between how women feel on the issue versus men.

What if there was a way to make men share in this responsibility. Not to duplicate pregnancy, that’s biologically impossible. But to share in raising that child and paying for it. Would that change how men feel and vote? Fact of the matter there is a way: DNA identification. What if everyone had to submit a swab for DNA identification. Then every father who shared in creating a child could be held responsible to raise and pay for him/her. My point is not whether this is right. It is simply: Would this change the way men vote on the issue?

David Roy Hensen

Miller Place

Peace is possible

As Quakers, we believe that peace in the world is possible, as Mary Lord, Quaker, of the American Friends Service Committee, reminds us: “We are called to live into the peaceable kingdom, and in that living discover the joy of a better way of life — in harmony with the Earth and one another. Peacemaking is not only possible but practical every day” (Friends Journal, June 1, 2007). Peacemaking requires that we acknowledge the background of all participants, actively listen to what has been learned, then consider the elements of agreement.

Our peaceful sentiments have been called naive and even unpatriotic. However, which is the greater naivety: To believe that the difficult but productive path of using diplomacy and strengthening international law is the path of safety, or to believe that wars and their weapons of mass destruction resolve conflicts and make us safe and secure?

The path of “winning the war,” as though it were a game, is, as history shows, the more naive perspective. War brings a horrific cost in human life, in property, in cultural treasures, in the fouling of the Earth and killing of its creatures. The aftermath invalidates the notion that wars bring about resolution, as evidenced by continuing warfare in the Middle East, Ukraine, Myanmar, Somalia and elsewhere.

Because Quakers believe there is good in everyone — people always have the capacity to be their best selves — we believe it is worth the effort of taking the steps of peacemaking to avoid the horrific costs of war and to provide the hope of establishing a just reality that sows the seeds of peace for future generations.

Carolyn Emerson

Clerk of Conscience Bay Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, St. James

A scene from last year's event. Photo from SBU

May is designated as National Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month and with summer right around the corner, it’s important to know how to keep your family sun-safe during all your outdoor activities. On Saturday, May 13, don’t miss an interactive, fun, educational and free event for the whole family that promotes sun safety and provides information about preventing skin cancer. Stony Brook Cancer Center and Stony Brook Dermatology Associates are hosting free skin cancer screenings, followed by its family-friendly event at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove featuring activities like:

  • Interacting with Long Island Aquarium critters

  • Mascot appearances from Stony Brook’s Wolfie, Urban Air’s Urbie, Splish from Splish Splash, LI Aquarium’s Jimbo Jaws and Splashes of Hope’s Vincent Van Monkey

  • Magic tricks, a balloon artist, a caricaturist and face painting fun for the whole family

  • Striking a pose in a photo booth

  • Free giveaways and discount coupons from community partners

  • And more!

WHEN:

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Skin Cancer Screenings – 11AM – 12PM

Block the Sun, Not the Fun Event – Noon to 3 PM

WHERE:

Screenings:

Stony Brook Dermatology Associates

1320 Stony Brook Road

Building F, Suite 200, Stony Brook, NY 11790

Block the Sun, Not the Fun Event:

Smith Haven Mall Center Court

313 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, NY 11755

WHO:

Healthcare experts from Stony Brook Medicine during skin cancer screenings

Representatives from healthcare and community partners

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. with 1 in 5 people being diagnosed with it in their lifetime. Stony Brook healthcare experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide resources pertaining to sun safety, including prevention and resources for skin cancer screening.

For a breakdown of what you need to know to be sun safe this summer check out these videos featuring Dr. Tara Kaufmann & Dr. Robert Hayman. They discuss sun safety, share facts about ultraviolet (UV) rays, and offer guidelines and resources on skin cancer concerns.

For more information about the event visit,

https://cancer.stonybrookmedicine.edu/CancerCenterEvents/SunSafety23

 

Yusuf Hannun is constantly working to improve his team of dedicated researchers with the hopes of curing complicated diseases. File photo

Stony Brook University’s Dr. Yusuf Hannun, an internationally recognized scientist and a leader at the school for a decade, is stepping down as head of the Stony Brook Cancer Center, Dr. Hal Paz, chief executive officer of Stony Brook Medicine announced in an email.

In the email addressed to SBM leaders, Paz thanked Hannun for his leadership, recognizing his contributions to cancer research and to the Stony Brook Cancer Center.

Paz suggested that Hannun would continue to serve as director until the university, which is conducting a national search, finds someone to assume that responsibility.

SBM officials maintained in a statement that the “mission remains the same: to provide our patients with optimal treatment and care.”

Stony Brook is seeking a candidate with “exceptional leadership skills, an illustrious career in cancer research, and who is at the forefront of cancer medicine,” SBM officials added.

Paz shared his gratitude to Hannun for his “dedication to our mission and for shepherding [the cancer center] on the first leg of its journey to attaining [National Cancer Institute] status,” he wrote in his email.

Stony Brook will continue to seek NCI designation. The National Cancer Institute recognizes centers that “meet rigorous standards for transdisciplinary, state-of-the-art research focused on developing new and better approaches to preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer,” according to the NCI web site.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has such a designation.

Paz indicated in the email that Hannun, who has earned numerous accolades and has blazed a trail in the field of sphingolipids, inflammation and cancer therapeutics, would remain as a part of the Stony Brook Medicine faculty.

Hannun previously worked at the Medical University of South Carolina, serving as senior associate dean and distinguished university professor of Biomedical Research and chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for 14 years.

TBR News Media honored the work of Hannun and his late wife, Lina Obeid, in a People of the Year issue in 2015.

Tony Futerman, the Joseph Meyerhoff professor and chair of biochemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, said Hannun “pushed the field into the modern age” and suggested he had been “innovative for 30 years.”

Hannun recruited numerous faculty to Stony Brook since his arrival, many of whom shared their appreciation for the opportunity to work with and for the well-regarded scientist.

Earlier this year, Mehdi Damaghi, assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, said he chose Stony Brook because of the depth of cancer sciences, citing the work of Hannun, Laufer Center Director Ken Dill and Pathology Department Chair Ken Shroyer.

Paz wrote that Hannun has been “instrumental in building the infrastructure to support the growth of the [cancer center], and his impact will be felt for years to come.”

Hannun holds numerous National Institutes of Health grants and has an H index of 148, which is “an exceptional metric that evaluates the cumulative impact of an author’s scholarly output and performance.”

An H index measures how much other scientists cite a researcher’s work.

“We are grateful that Dr. Hannun will remain in his leadership role as we search for a successor,” SBM officials added.

Photo from Stony Brook Medicine

The Rose Caracappa Senior Center, 739 Route 25A, Mt. Sinai, welcomes a Stony Brook Cancer Center mobile mammography van to its parking lot on Friday, Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Screenings are performed by NYS-registered radiologic technologists with advanced training in mammography. The van has a comfortable waiting area, private dressing room and a complete exam room. Mammography images are read by board-certified radiologists at Stony Brook.

Schedule Appointment

  • Call 631-638-4135 to schedule an appointment

Eligibility:

  • Must be female and 40 years of age or older.
  • No mammograms in the past year.
  • Not pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • No implants or breast issues, such as a lump or nipple discharge.
  • Never diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Office visit within the past year with a gynecologist, primary care physician or internist who is willing to accept the results of the screening.

On the Day of Your Appointment:

  • Please do not wear deodorant, perfume, powders, lotions or creams on the breast area.
  • Please bring your photo ID and insurance card, if insured.

Health Insurance

  • Individuals who do not have health insurance will be processed through the Cancer Services Program of New York, if eligible.

Stony Brook Cancer Center

The Stony Brook University Cancer Center has been awarded a Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) grant to help promote sun-safety measures in an effort to prevent skin cancer on Long Island. Stony Brook is the first and only institution on Long Island to receive this competitive award. Cancer Prevention in Action is a New York State Department of Health and Health Research Inc. program supporting local cancer prevention and risk reduction interventions using a policy, systems and environmental (PSE) change approach. 

This grant will allow the Stony Brook University Cancer Center Community Outreach and Engagement staff to partner with community organizations and businesses in Nassau and Suffolk Counties to implement sun-safety measures, which is in line with the Cancer Center’s mission. By adopting sun-safety policies, these community groups will be instrumental in reducing skin cancer risk for their employees and visitors. There will also be opportunities for education about the dangers of UV tanning and the importance of HPV vaccinations for community partners and leaders to mobilize change that will prevent cancer.

“We are excited to share our expertise with the community and help community partners adopt policies that promote sun safety on Long Island and that can help prevent skin and HPV-related cancers,” states Linda Mermelstein, MD, MPH, the Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement at Stony Brook Cancer Center.

To learn more about the Stony Brook University Cancer Center, visit https://cancer.stonybrookmedicine.edu/.

This project is supported with funds from Health Research, Inc. and New York State.  

About Stony Brook University Cancer Center:

Stony Brook University Cancer Center is Suffolk County’s cancer care leader and a leader in education and research. With more than 20,000 inpatient and 70,000 outpatient visits annually, the Cancer Center includes 12 multidisciplinary teams: Breast Cancer; Colorectal Cancer; Gastrointestinal Cancer; Genitourinary Cancer; Gynecologic Cancer; Head and Neck Cancer, and Thyroid Cancer; Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplant; Lung Cancer; Melanoma and Soft Tissue Sarcomas; Neurologic Oncology; Orthopedic Oncology; and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. The cancer program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. To learn more, visit www.cancer.stonybrookmedicine.edu.

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File photo from Stony Brook University

An award-winning scientist, grandmother, aunt, mother and wife, Dr. Lina Obeid, died Nov. 29 at the age of 64 after a recurrence of lung cancer.

Lina Obeid spending time with her granddaughter Evelyn. Photo by Marya Hannun

Born in New York and raised in Lebanon, Obeid was a State University of New York distinguished professor of medicine and the dean of research at Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, where she conducted research on cancer and aging. In 2015, she was named as one of The Village Times Herald’s People of the Year along with her husband Dr. Yusuf Hannun.

A Celebration of Life memorial service for Obeid will take place Dec. 7 at Flowerfield in St. James from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and will include remarks and a reception. Attendees are encouraged to wear bright colors.

SBU faculty appreciated Obeid’s scientific, administrative and mentoring contributions, as well as her engaging style.

Michael Bernstein, interim president of SBU, said Obeid was “very well liked and respected” and that her loss leaves a “big hole” at the university.

Obeid “oversaw our research programs, specifically the core facilities on which all our laboratory scientists depend, for sample analysis, for microscopy of cells” among other areas, Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, dean of Renaissance School of Medicine wrote in an email.

He lauded Obeid’s personable approach, which he said, “rubbed off on many people,” creating a “renewed sense of optimism in our ability to impact all three missions: research, teaching and clinical care.”

Obeid and Hannun, who is the director of the Stony Brook Cancer Center, knew each other in high school, started dating in medical school and were married for 36 years. The couple recently shared a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th International Conference on Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases in October. The award represents the first time a woman received this honor.

Supriya Jayadev, who was a graduate student in Hannun’s lab at Duke University and is the executive director of Clallam Mosaic in Port Angeles, Washington, called Obeid a “role model” for women in science. “Not only was she a strong leader with the ability to compete in a male-dominated field, but she retained her femininity and grace.”

Daniel Raben, a professor of biological chemistry at Johns Hopkins Medicine, has known Obeid and Hannun for more than two decades.

“She had a huge impact on the sphingolipid field because of the contribution she made,” Raben said. “It’s a huge loss. She was a giant.”

Dr. Maurizio Del Poeta, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at SBU, knew Obeid since 1995.

“I once asked her if she had any advice for my grants to get funded,” he recalled in an email. Obeid suggested she didn’t know how to get funded, but that his work wouldn’t get funded if he didn’t submit proposals.

She “never took ‘no’ for an answer. She would insist and insist and insist again until she [would] persuade you and get a ‘yes,’” he added.

Del Poeta said Obeid did a “marvelous” job enhancing research facilities, while she was a “caring physician” for veterans at the Northport VA Medical Center.

Obeid and Hannun were co-directors of a National Institutes of Health program in Cancer Biology and Therapeutics, which this year received a grant renewal for another five years.

Obeid’s daughter Marya Hannun recalled her mother as “warm, honest, and funny” without being cynical. Marya said her mother cared about everyone around her and was rooting for them to succeed.

“During my childhood, she taught me that nothing was impossible if you are determined and gutsy.”

— Mayra Hannun

“During my childhood, she taught me that nothing was impossible if you are determined and gutsy,” Marya Hannun wrote in an email.

She suggested her mother was passionate about food, which shaped how they lived and traveled. When the family visited Greece, Obeid swam out for sea urchins, cracked them on rocks and ate them on the beach. She was a passionate cook who learned from her mother, Rosette, who wrote a Palestinian cookbook.

The Hannun family laughs “about how we plan out holidays around food and spend
our meals talking about the next meals,” Marya wrote.

Obeid was part of one of the first class of women admitted into the International College High School. She earned her bachelor of arts at Rutgers University, but was also creative as a child and interested in fashion and design.

“Anyone who [saw] her wouldn’t be surprised,” Marya said.

Obeid is survived by her husband, her parents, Rosette and Sami, her nieces and nephews, her triplet children and her two grandchildren.

Obeid and Hannun’s daughter Reem is married to Dr. Khaled Moussawi and lives in Baltimore. Awni and his wife Kathy Hannun have two children, Evelyn and Yusuf, and live in New York City.

Binks Wattenberg, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Virginia Commonwealth University, believes that “people like [Obeid] only come along a few times in one’s lifetime.”

In an email, he recalled how she had a
“way of looking into your eyes and persuading you to do an experiment that she thought absolutely had to be done.” He appreciated her enthusiasm, which made Wattenberg feel as if he was doing “absolutely
essential work.”

Obeid regularly invited her researchers for meals at her house, where they felt as if they also joined the family, said Dr. Gerard Blobe, a professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine who earned his doctorate in Yusuf Hannun’s lab over 20 years ago.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations in Obeid’s name to the Stony Brook University Cancer Center. Potential donors can access the site at cancer.stonybrookmedicine.edu/giving.

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From left, Mia Cottone, Caroline Woo and Abbi Sasson hold a few wreaths that they made. Photo from Troop 551

Three local Girl Scouts have turned their Silver Award project into a continuous act of giving.

The girls install birdhouses at Stony Brook Cancer Center. Photo from Lise Sasson

Caroline Woo, Mia Cottone and Abbi Sasson, all from Troop 551, decided for their Silver Award project that they would build birdhouses for the patients at Stony Brook Cancer Center. Because the project was involved, and would take some time, the girls decided while their project was in the works they would lift patients’ spirits with handmade wreaths.

The group learned the craft from Carmen Tornos, a professor with the Renaissance School of Medicine, and the completed decorations were hung in the common patient areas. After a few months, the hospital raffled the wreaths to the cancer center staff to show appreciation.

The three said they enjoyed designing the wreaths so much that they decided to continue making them to raise money for the nonprofit Room4Love based in East Setauket, which provides bedroom makeovers for children with cancer.

The girls, who are all ninth-graders at P.J. Gelinas Junior High School, said the Silver Award project, where each Scout must create something that can have a lasting impact, requires Scouts to put in 50 hours of service. In addition to the birdhouses and wreaths, the girls put together goody bags for the patients and handed out birdseed for them to go outside, feed the birds and get some fresh air. The three said they chose the cancer center to help older patients, who are sometimes overlooked.

“We really learned that just little things can make a lasting impact on people’s lives,” Abbi said.

The other girls agreed.

“Even the small things that you don’t think matter to anyone, they do matter to a lot of people,” Caroline said.

The Girls Scouts said their parents have been a big help in providing materials for the wreaths, which they have been making all year round for every season. When it comes to Room4Love, the girls have been making the decorations for the nonprofit to raffle off, or they create them for family and friends who in turn donate to the organization. Mia was already familiar with Room4Love, which was started by her cousins, Maggie and Bella Diehl, eight years ago.

“It’s a good organization, and it helps a lot of kids,” Mia said.

Girl Scout Leader Sonya Cottone, Mia’s mother, said that she and co-leader Anne Hansen-Crowley are proud of the girls, who are willing to help out as much as they can.

“It makes us really proud, and we feel lucky to have a great group of kids,” she said.

The Girl Scouts work on wreaths.

Lucy Diehl, from Room4Love, said her daughters Maggie and Bella, despite being away at college, are still actively running the nonprofit, and she said all of them are humbled and grateful for all the support those in the Three Village area have given.

She added she’s not surprised that young people like the Girl Scouts are helping out.

“We live in a really good community that is always looking to give and looking to help, and certainly these kids, by making these wreaths, are doing just that,” Diehl said.

Eydie Woo, Caroline’s mother, said she credits the Girl Scouts for laying down good values for her daughter and friends. She said while the girls didn’t work directly with the patients, they did tour the hospital and saw the pediatric side, as well as the adult side, which had an impact on them.

“They’ve realized how fortunate they are, and that they’re able to do things like that and give back because there are kids who are really sick and they want to help them,” she said.

As for a large project such as the Silver Award, the girls had some advice to share.

“Even if it seems like getting started is hard, once you get in, you see just how rewarding and how almost eye-opening it is to realize the impact of what you can have on the world,” Abbi said.

For more information about Room4Love, visit www.room4love.org.

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A customer checks out the variety of salsas at the Three Village Artisan and Farmers Market in East Setauket. Photo from Linda Johnson

Visitors to the farmers market on the grounds of the Three Village Historical Society every Friday afternoon will discover new things this year, including a mission to help out a good cause.

The East Setauket Farmers Market has now been named the Three Village Artisan and Farmers Market, or nicknamed Three Village Market for short. Linda Johnson, owner of Chocology Unlimited and market manager, said the new name reflects the growing participation of vendors from across the Three Village area and the artisans, musicians and other makers on hand every week. This year, the market aims to raise money with various fundraisers throughout the season for Stony Brook Cancer Center, specifically the Healthy Forks and Move to Heal Survivorship series.

Attendees at a recent Three Village Artisan and Farmers Market visit the different tents on the grounds of the Three Village Historical Society. Photo from Linda Johnson

“We want to make the market more of a gathering place and at the same time give back to the community,” Johnson said.

The business owner said it made sense to partner with the cancer center’s program.

“It’s all about nutrition and eating healthy, and how people can eat healthy but also not spend a lot of money,” she said.

Jennifer Fitzgibbon, Stony Brook Cancer Center’s oncology nutritionist and the Healthy Forks program coordinator, said she was pleased when she heard the farmers market’s fundraisers would benefit the program.

“I am a firm believer in the addition of fresh produce and what the market features, so the fact that we’re going to be working together, I’m so excited about it,” Fitzgibbon said.

The nutritionist says she takes participants in the program to grocery stores, including Trader Joe’s, to show them how to make healthier choices while eating
affordably, and she plans to take them to the Three Village Market this year.

“I love going there,” she said. “I just think it’s such a beautiful climate. You go there and everyone is so friendly, and every little spot you look at — for example, the organic herbs and the pepper hot sauce — you can really get a nutritional sense from every little piece.”

Fitzgibbon said farmers markets offer fresher, more seasonal products, which means adding a better variety of nutrients to diets. She suggests eating five to eight servings of low-glycemic plant foods a day.

“I just think it’s such a beautiful climate. You go there and everyone is so friendly, and every little spot you look at — for example the organic herbs and the pepper hot sauce — you can really get a nutritional sense from every little piece.”

— Jennifer Fitzgibbon

As she works in conjunction with physical therapist Denise Dahlgren, the funds raised at the Three Village Market will go toward exercise equipment, including yoga mats and pedometers for participants in the Healthy Forks series.

Linda Bily, director of cancer patient advocacy and community outreach at Stony Brook Medicine, said the hospital always welcomes donations from the community. She said patients have received items
including cards from Scouts and hats knitted by senior citizens. One patient who received both a hat and a card was inspired to ask her company to create bags for cancer patients that were filled with hand sanitizers, tissues, lip balm and more.

“It’s hard for someone that isn’t going through cancer treatments to understand the value of these small, comforting things that say, ‘Hey, I got your back. Someone is looking out for you,’” Bily said.

Johnson said the market almost didn’t come together this year. She decided to help manage the market and reached out to the owners of Ann Marie’s Farmstand of Port Jefferson Station. They were the first to agree to be part of the new market and other businesses quickly joined the list of vendors.

The market opened June 1, and Johnson said each week more people are stopping by. She said there is also a tent where children can make crafts and listen to authors read their books.

“People have been very happy, which is really nice to see,” she said. “They’re liking what they’re seeing and feeling.”

The Three Village Artisan and Farmers Market is open every Friday until Oct. 26 from 3 to 7 p.m. It is located at 93 N. County Road in Setauket.

Dr. Jennifer Arnold leads the Parade of Survivors. Photo by Cindy Swanson

By Heidi Sutton

On Sunday, June 4, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in various locations across the country for National Cancer Survivors Day, a celebration of life for anyone who has been touched by cancer. Locally, the Stony Brook Cancer Center hosted its 13th annual event, made possible by sponsorship from the Stony Brook School of Medicine and Stony Brook University.

The weather cooperated as attendees participated in a variety of outdoor activities, such as the popular dunk-a-doc, bedpan golf, chemo bag toss and face painting, as well as musical entertainment. The day culminated with the Parade of Survivors to the tune of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Dr. Yusuf Hannun

“There is really no activity that I look forward to more every year than what we are doing here today, to celebrate you and to celebrate survivorship,” said Dr. Yusuf Hannun, director of the Stony Brook Cancer Center, to a crowd of survivors, doctors, nurses, family members and friends. “Looking around … I am really humbled to see how this event has been growing exponentially, from very modest beginnings of a handful of dedicated volunteers and determined survivors, to today with over 1,300 [attendees], 300 of them survivors,” he said.

Hannun also took the opportunity to speak about the new 245,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art Medical and Research Translation (MART) building, which served as the backdrop to the event and is scheduled to open by the end of this year. The director stated the new facility “will allow us to serve twice as many patients and their families … and allow us to continue to push back against cancer at all times. We are very excited to move into that building.”

The keynote speaker of the day was Dr. Jennifer Arnold, who is featured on TLC’s docudrama, “The Little Couple” along with her husband, Bill, who is originally from Port Jefferson Station, and their beautiful children, Will and Zoey. The show has served as an invaluable way to break down barriers and educate the public about people with disabilities.

Dr. Jennifer Arnold

Standing at just 3 feet and 2 inches, Arnold was born with a rare type of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, Strudwick type and has undergone over 30 surgeries in her lifetime. In 2013 she was diagnosed with stage 3 choriocarcinoma, a rare cancer that developed after a non-viable pregnancy. She graciously chose to share her fight with viewers of her show.

Now a three-year cancer survivor, Arnold shared her journey and personal lessons learned at Sunday’s event with a dynamic, motivational and inspirational presentation titled Surviving with Grace and received several standing ovations.

“Although I had a lot of life lessons [growing up], nothing taught me more than going through cancer,” said Arnold. “Sometimes life throws a wrench into the middle of your world and you have to be ready for that because life is short, no pun intended.”

“Going through chemotherapy changes you a lot, physically, emotionally, mentally…,” she said. After chemo, “I didn’t go back to normal, but I did go back to life. Truly it takes a village to go through your treatment and survivorship. It’s okay to accept that help.”

Arnold continued, “This is a wonderful life that we have and I am so blessed to be alive and to be able to share my story and I know that many of you in the audience feel the same way. … Whether it’s the fact that you’ve undergone treatment for cancer or whether you’ve had other obstacles in life, I hope that you too can overcome those obstacles and that you can survive with grace.”

File photo

By Samuel L. Stanley, Jr.

Samuel L. Stanley Jr.

In recognition of his dedication to the cancer fight, Stony Brook University proudly honored the 47th Vice President of the United States Joseph R. Biden Jr. at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala — our annual fundraising event — on Wednesday, April 19.

Hosted by the Stony Brook Foundation, the gala generates funds for student financial aid and a select academic area of excellence. This year, the university raised $6,946,000 in gifts and pledges, including $2,051,000 for scholarships and $4,895,000 to support the Stony Brook University Cancer Center. Since 2000, the event has raised more than $50 million.

As vice president, Joe Biden led the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force. Its mission: to double the rate of progress in preventing the disease that leads to more than 8 million deaths worldwide every year. The intention, said Biden in his remarks, was to infuse the cancer research culture with “the urgency of now.”

At Stony Brook, we share Joe Biden’s determination, sense of urgency and his fundamental confidence in our ability to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The Stony Brook Cancer Center brings together the brightest minds, enhancing purposeful collaboration, and creating strategic partnerships to share information and accelerate research.

Our researchers are receiving worldwide attention for a pioneering study of the genesis and behavior of cancer cells at the molecular level with the goal of one day helping to detect, treat and eventually eliminate the disease for good.

Through continual research and discovery, Stony Brook Cancer Center is on the forefront of cancer care. In the new Kavita and Lalit Bahl Center for Metabolomics and Imaging, for instance, Dr. Yusuf Hannun and Dr. Lina Obeid are receiving international recognition for their pioneering studies in the relationship between cancer and lipids, naturally occurring molecules in the body such as fats. Their work is changing what is known about the role lipids play in cancer and brings us closer to understanding how to prevent and treat the disease.

Next year, the Stony Brook Cancer Center will relocate from its current location on the Stony Brook Medicine campus to the new 254,000-square-foot Medical and Research Translation (MART) building, designed to enable scientists and physicians to work side by side to advance cancer research and imaging diagnostics.

We’re thrilled that for one big night, we shined a white-hot light on the cancer issue and worked to raise awareness and money that will no doubt play a continuing role in bringing an end to this disease.

Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. is president of Stony Brook University.