Tunnell Cancer Center Hosted Its 4th Successful Miracle Mile
An air of hope and camaraderie prevailed when more than 150 cancer survivors, caregivers and others walked along the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk on a recent, beautiful Saturday morning.
They were taking part in the Fourth Annual Tunnell Cancer Center Miracle Mile, organized to show support for cancer survivors and to celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day. As an inspirational addition to the morning, 50 doves were released on the boardwalk at the start of the walk, flying high and circling above as they prepared for their return home.
"To me, the doves represented the sense of hope that you embrace as a cancer survivor," said event organizer Judith Ramirez, the social worker with the Tunnell Cancer Center. "They helped remind us why we were there that day, and to give all of us the inspiration to go forward in our lives as together we battled this disease."
Twenty-five Tunnell Cancer Center employees joined Ms. Ramirez that day. "It was very rewarding to see that the number of people taking part in this Miracle Mile of hope is increasing," Ms. Ramirez added.
The event began in the Epworth United Methodist Church on Baltimore Avenue. Pastor Richard Preston said a prayer and Jeffrey M. Fried, President and CEO of Beebe Medical Center and Dr. Pramod A. Vadlamani of the Tunnell Cancer Center welcomed the participants. Kari Sauder, a registered nurse at Tunnell Cancer Center, sang an inspirational song.
Bagpipe player Doug McConnell led the walkers from inside the church and down Baltimore Avenue to the boardwalk. Participants gathered under the clear blue sky, some holding hands, and many smiling to one another. Lisa Robbins, bird handler and owner of Shorebird's Loft of Milton, read an inspirational poem about the meaning that the doves brought to the day.
"We chose doves of many colors as cancer knows no boundaries," she said. The doves were rock doves, more commonly know as "homing pigeons," and after the release that they flew back to their cages in Milton.
Surf Bagels donated bagels for the breakfast held following the walk and Sparkletts donated water for the walkers.
National Cancer Survivors Day, in its 20th year, is the world's largest cancer survivor event, according to the National Cancer Institute. It is a celebration that recognizes the courage and strength of America's growing population of more than 10 million cancer survivors, as well as their loved ones and caregivers.
Tunnell Cancer Center was established in 1995. It has received the Commission on Cancer's highest accreditation with commendation as a comprehensive community cancer center. Its clinical specialties are Medical oncology/hematology and radiation oncology. Nearly 200 patients visit the center each day.
Miracle Mile participants gathered together as the doves were released by Lisa Robbins of Shorebird's Loft.
Bagpipe player Doug McConnell led Miracle Mile participants from the church to the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach.
Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community medical center with a mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health with the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us online at www.beebemed.org.