Cancer Survivors Recognized For Helping Philadelphia-Area Patients

The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) has named Rita Davis-Goldsberry of Newark, Del., as the 2006 Survivor Circle Award Winner and Barbara Knight-Meyers, Ph.D., as the 2006 Distinguished Honoree. Ms. Davis-Goldsberry will be presented with her award and a $1,000 cash prize and Dr. Knight-Meyers will be presented with her award on Monday, November 6, 2006, at 1 p.m., at the Pennsylvania Convention Center during ASTRO’s 48th Annual Scientific Meeting held in Philadelphia November 5-9.
The Survivor Circle Award was created to recognize a cancer survivor in the Delaware Valley area who has devoted his or her time and energy to helping others in the community. Ms. Davis-Goldsberry was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002; the cancer was in her right breast with micro-metastases in her lymph nodes. At the time of her diagnosis, she was uninsured. Ms. Davis-Goldsberry found a treatment facility to treat her cancer for free; allowing her to be billed for her radiation therapy after her course of treatment had begun.

She, in turn, decided to give back to the community that gave to her. She began volunteering and advocating for the uninsured, seeking to help those men and women find resources available to them. This quest gave her the words she stands by today, “No other woman or man should be treated in the manner that I was treated because of lack of education or finances.” Ms. Davis-Goldsberry volunteers at the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc., and continues to urge the importance of volunteering and advocacy so that continual support is available for those who are going through or just beginning their “journey with breast cancer”.

This year, ASTRO has also named a Distinguished Honoree, Barbara Knight-Myers, Ph.D., of Philadelphia. Dr. Knight-Myers was diagnosed with inflammatory carcinoma of the breast in 1997. She is a psychologist, clinician and educator, allowing her to use her background of service for her community. Dr. Knight-Myers has dedicated her time to Insight Seminars, a non-profit organization, where she has been a volunteer since 1980. Her involvement with the group has since become more personal and engaged; she has created and hosted fundraisers for the group and designed seminars with those in need of support in mind. Dr. Knight-Myers will receive a plaque recognizing her work at the ASTRO Annual Meeting.

“Survivorship is a large part of the entire treatment process for our cancer patients,” said K. Kian Ang, M.D., Ph.D., ASTRO President. “Taking a cancer diagnosis, something very personal, and turning it into a way of bringing more education and attention to cancer is a true gift to the community. Ms. Davis-Goldsberry and Dr. Knight-Meyers are outstanding examples of survivors who have turned something as negative as a cancer diagnosis into something as wonderful as giving back to their community.”

The Survivor Circle was established in 2003 as a way for ASTRO to give back to the cities visited during the Society’s Annual Meeting. Each year, ASTRO partners with two local organizations to build relationships between patient organizations and radiation oncologists as well as raise money to support the work of these groups. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised through the Survivor Circle are given to the groups. This year, ASTRO will partner with Cancer Hope Network and The Wellness Community Philadelphia.

The ASTRO Annual Meeting is the premier scientific meeting in radiation oncology and attracts more than 10,000 oncologists of all disciplines, physicists, nurses, biologists and other healthcare professionals from throughout the world. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Topographic and Biologic Targeting in Radiation Oncology” and the program will highlight the importance of targeting both biological signaling pathways and tumor topography with improved imaging and precision radiotherapy.

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