Harry Belafonte to speak at University of Chicago Hospitals cancer

Harry Belafonte to speak at University of Chicago Hospitals cancer survivors celebration, June 8

June 5, 2003

World renowned human and civil rights activist, singer, actor, producer and cancer survivor Harry Belafonte will be the keynote speaker for the University of Chicago Hospitals' 14th-annual Cancer Survivors celebration on Sunday, June 8.

The event, which was postponed one week this year to accommodate the speaker's schedule, will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Westin Hotel, 909 N. Michigan Ave. Anyone who has had cancer, plus friends or family members, is welcome to attend. Last year, more than 900 people enjoyed the celebration.

Belafonte was diagnosed with prostate cancer seven years ago but was treated successfully and remains active in entertainment and human rights. Born in Harlem and raised in Jamaica, he gained fame as a jazz and folk singer and as an actor in the 1950s, then used his celebrity to advance the cause of civil rights in the United States and human rights around the world, in the process winning honors from such diverse groups as the State Department, the Peace Corps, UNICEF, the NAACP, the ACLU, the American Jewish Congress and the Boy Scouts of America.

Cancer Survivors Day provides an opportunity for those with cancer to meet other patients and long-term survivors.

"Events such as this one can take away some of the stress that comes with a diagnosis of cancer," said Peggy Baker, director of psycho-oncology programs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. "This gathering is a chance for cancer survivors to see old friends, chat with their caregivers in a nonclinical setting, and celebrate their success.

"It also allows newly diagnosed patients to meet with hundreds of long-term survivors, walking evidence that there is good reason for hope despite a cancer diagnosis."

Admission is free, but participants are requested to make reservations by calling 1-888-UCH-0200.