Cancer Survivors, Patients and Families Celebrate Life and Liberty at Seventh Annual Event Hosted by John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center

October 9, 2015 03:33 PM
Thousands of cancer survivors gathered along with their families, friends, physicians and members of the John Theurer Cancer Center team at the Celebrating Life and Liberty event at Liberty State Park on Saturday, September 12.

The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center (HackensackUMC) nearly 3,000 cancer survivors, patients, families and advocates at the Seventh Annual Celebrating Life and Liberty Event on Saturday, September 12 at Liberty State Park.  The day gives patients and families an opportunity to come together and celebrate their lives, journeys, and offer one another hope and support.  

“This is such a great event that just grows bigger and bigger each and every year, and it’s actually one of my favorite events,” said Garrett. “I want to thank our great team at the John Theurer Cancer Center – our world class doctors, nurses and support team.  They are without question the best in the nation.  What our patients and families represent is the best in humanity with their courage, spirit, and perseverance.  The Life and Liberty Event is our way of giving back to all that you have given us, and we are so grateful to give you an opportunity to come together and celebrate each other.” 

The complimentary event featured several family-oriented activities including lawn games, photo booths, face painting, balloon artists, a magic show, and music performed by the Jimmy Vali Band.  The speaking program was emceed by Lauren Green from Fox News and featured remarks by Robert C. Garrett, president and CEO of Hackensack University Health Network; Andre Goy, M.D., M.S., chairman and director, and chief of Lymphoma at the John Theurer Cancer Center as well as chief science officer and director of Research and Innovation of Regional Cancer Care Associates; and Sharon Lee Parker, director of Patient Advocacy, John Theurer Cancer Center.

“We have such a strong community at the John Theurer Cancer Center, and our annual Celebrating Life and Liberty event is just one small example of that,” said Dr. Goy. “I am so inspired by our patients, and their will and determination is what makes it so rewarding to work at one of the top 50 cancer programs in the United States.”

The event centered on pediatric patients of the Cancer Center and featured inspiring singers such as Jim Roth of Midland Park.  Mr. Roth has attended Celebrating Life and Liberty since its very first year and is a nearly 10-year patient of Dr. Goy.  With the help of HackensackUMC, Mr. Roth has beaten Mantle Cell Lymphoma twice and is now facing that challenge and plans to overcome it once again.

“The Celebrating Life and Liberty event never fails to deliver on its purpose, and that is to provide support, camaraderie, sustenance and joy to all those attending,” said Mr. Roth.  “I have attended each of the events for the past seven years.  It gives me a chance to catch up with my caregivers and fellow patients from the studies we have been in and to share some optimism and hope for those who are newly diagnosed.  It is a 100 percent uplifting experience in a fantastic environment and location.  I never want to miss it.  I am grateful to Dr. Goy and staff for all they have done and continue to do.”

This year, patients and families were able to see HackensackUMC’s AirMed One helicopter as well as the Jersey City Fire Boat.  Raffle prizes were given away at the end of the event which included a short-term lease to a Land Rover and Jaguar F-Type sponsored by Prestige.

About Hackensack University Medical Center

HackensackUMC, a nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 1,717 beds, more than 10,000 employees and 3,300 credentialed physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospital rankings - maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. HackensackUMC is one of Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals™ for nine years in a row, and received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 13 years in a row. The medical center has also been named a Leapfrog Top Hospital, is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 23 Gold Seals of Approval™ by the Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is the Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit:  

About John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is among the nation’s top 50 U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals for cancer – the highest ranked in New Jersey with this designation. It is New Jersey's largest and most comprehensive cancer center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, preventive care, as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancer.

Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. The 14 specialized divisions feature a team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. John Theurer Cancer Center provides comprehensive multidisciplinary care, state of the art technology, and access to clinical trials, compassionate care and medical expertise— all under one roof. Physicians at John Theurer Cancer Center are members of Regional Cancer Care Associates one of the nation’s largest professional hematology/oncology groups. For more information, please visit








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