Donald McEntee (center), a five-year cancer survivor, celebrates life on June 7 at the Celebrate Life Tree planting ceremony with Richard J. Stephenson, chairman of the board (right), and Robert Mayo, vice chairman of the board, at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center. | Submitted photo
Updated: August 11, 2013 2:19AM
ZION — Donald McEntee, a prostate cancer survivor from Gurnee, joined more than 100 five-year cancer survivors for an emotional and momentous tree-planting ceremony at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center June 7.
The annual Celebrate Life event is an inspirational and extraordinary celebration of cancer survivorship. McEntee and survivors representing 44 states gathered for the event to celebrate the milestone and to support one another as they continue their cancer survivorship journey.
The 2013 Celebrate Life event marks the 25th year that a tree has been planted in honor of each five-year survivor.
Participants were joined by doctors, hospital administrators, clinical team members, caregivers, family members and members of the community who attended in a show of support.
During the ceremony, celebrants also collectively released five white doves representing each year of cancer-fighting survival while receiving treatment at CTCA.
McEntee sought treatment at CTCA at Midwestern after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008.
“During my initial consult, I instantly felt welcomed, comfortable, and knew it was the right place for me to seek treatment,” said McEntee. “My radiation oncologist, Dr. Bernard Eden, recommended I receive Calypso radiation treatment, a technology that uses a GPS system to determine the exact position and movement of the prostate during radiation.”
The 2013 Celebrate Life event at CTCA at Midwestern also included a red carpet reception and luncheon with gourmet offerings of natural and organic foods prepared by the culinary team from the Wholesome Bistro, the CTCA in-hospital restaurant.
Before the day concluded, many of the five-year survivors took time to walk through the hospital to offer comfort and support to other patients and family members, inspiring all.
Each celebrant was also honored with an engraved gold leaf which is displayed on the ever growing survivor trees located at the entrance of the hospital.
“Each and every day is a celebration of life and survivorship,”said Scott Jones, president and CEO at CTCA at Midwestern.