Ted Kennedy, Jr., to speak at cancer survivors celebration, June 4

Ted Kennedy, Jr., to speak at University of Chicago Hospitals cancer survivors celebration, June 4

May 16, 2000

Ted Kennedy, Jr., an active advocate for Americans with disabilities and bone cancer survivor, will be the keynote speaker for the for the University of Chicago Hospitals' 11th annual Cancer Survivors Day celebration on Sunday, June 4, 2000. The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Westin Hotel, 909 N. Michigan.

Anyone who has had cancer, plus friends or family members, is welcome to attend. Last year, more than 900 people attended the celebration.

Since losing one of his legs to bone cancer in 1973 at the age of 12, Ted Kennedy, Jr., has devoted much of his professional and personal energy to working as an advocate for the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Kennedy has served as the executive director of Facing the Challenge, a non-profit advocacy and public policy office on disability-related issues, and as a teaching fellow on disability policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has worked extensively with both policy makers and the corporate world in the areas of expanding job opportunities for people with disabilities.

Kennedy worked for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and served for four years on the Executive Committee of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. He served on the Executive Committee of the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games and is a member of the board of Very Special Arts, an international education and arts organization for people with disabilities.

A 1984 graduate of Wesleyan University, Kennedy received a master's degree from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 1991. Much of his energies are now focused on studying environmental factors that lead to disease and disability. Since 1992, he has worked on the Research Faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine and as Director of the New Haven Lead-Safe Home and Community Health Project, a comprehensive community-based initiative addressing pediatric lead poisoning, a leading cause of mental retardation.

Kennedy has lectured throughout the world about his experiences with cancer, his views about life with a disabling condition, the civil rights movement from a disability perspective, health care reform, and other related topics.

Cancer Survivors Day events include:

Noon-1:00 p.m.
Refreshments, mingling and a chance to visit information booths that assist cancer patients and survivors.

1:00 p.m.
Welcoming remarks from Ken Kates, Vice President, University of Chicago Hospitals, and Peggy Baker, Director of Cancer Support Programs.

1:10-1:20 p.m.
Remarks by Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang, Director of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center.

1:20-1:40 p.m.
Entertainment by Lynne Jordan & The Shivers.

1:40-1:45 p.m.
Darlina Coleman, 13 year-old cancer survivor of osteosarcoma.

1:45 p.m.
Susan Nessim, 25-year cancer survivor, founder of Cancervine and author of Can Survive: Reclaiming Your Life After Cancer.

1:50 p.m.
Keynote speaker Ted Kennedy, Jr., cancer survivor and advocate of people with disabilities.

Cancer Survivors Day provides an opportunity for those with cancer to meet other patients and long-term survivors like Kennedy, Nessim, and Coleman. "Events such as this one can alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with a diagnosis of cancer," said Vogelzang. "This gathering is a chance for cancer survivors to celebrate their success and for newly diagnosed patients to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel."

Admission is free, but participants are requested to make reservations by calling 1-800-UCH-0200.