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Shining a Light on Cancer

Shining a Light on Cancer

Physical distancing may stop the spread of COVID-19, but it doesn’t stop cancer. While many things have changed throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the one constant is the effort of the team at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

For cancer patients, time is of the essence when it comes to treatment, whether they undergo chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplants or surgery. That is why more than 90 per cent of daily visits for cancer treatment were continued throughout April and May and why all available cancer treatment services have now resumed. It is also why all cancer screening programs were also resumed in July.

Increased infection-control measures are designed to keep immune-compromised patients safe, while helping staff deliver vital care. Virtual visits support other patients who need follow-up care. Reducing risk, maintaining care standards and supporting cancer patients are critical elements of today’s and tomorrow’s care at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

As the government does not fund equipment and patient amenities, community support is vital to ensuring the Cancer Program can continue providing exceptional care. This is why Illuminight, the signature fundraising event for Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation, is so important.

Since 2018, Illuminight has brought people together in honour of their journeys with cancer. The farmland walk under the stars, the live musical performances, the fun activities for the whole family and the amazing food have been major highlights.

Illuminight has made a significant impact on patient care for the region. These funds have supported enhancements of RESSCU, which is an urgent-care program for cancer patients. Proceeds from Illuminight have also enabled the addition of a mental-health program, which includes the development of appropriate therapeutic spaces to support private counselling, family counselling and group therapy.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Illuminight has been reimagined as a virtual event.

On Friday, October 2, 2020, participants are encouraged to take part in a twilight walk in their own community within their own “social circle.” To get in the spirit, participants are encouraged to light their walk in a creative way with flashlights, glowsticks or other fun means of illumination.

While participants are encouraged to walk on October 2, this is a virtual event and participants can plan their walk for any evening until October 12 at their leisure. Photos from walks can be shared on social media by using #IlluminightWalk.

In addition to the walk, participants can decorate, display and share a pumpkin on social media for the entire month of October. Pumpkins can be carved, painted or uniquely decorated to honour a cancer patient or symbolize their inspiration for supporting Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

Together, while apart, we can make a difference for patients and their families who rely on the care and services of the Cancer Program at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

For further details and online registration, visit www.hamiltonhealth.ca/illuminight .

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