Jonna Tamases, a three-time cancer survivor and former circus clown, kept an overflow audience of more than 250 cancer survivors, friends and family laughing with her award-winning one-woman comedy during a recent survivorship event on campus.
Tamases was the keynote speaker for Moving Beyond Cancer to Wellness, presented June 26 by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Survivorship Program. Tamases’ show, “Jonna’s Body, Please Hold,” centered on a sassy receptionist who takes calls from irate body parts, helping them to unite to fend off a duo of deadly invaders.
Held in Pelton Auditorium and other locations around the Center, Moving Beyond Cancer to Wellness marked the fourth annual general-education seminar of the Survivorship Program, made possible by a grant from LIVESTRONG.
Attendees had their choice of three breakout sessions focused on survivorship topics including cognitive function/memory, lymphedema, fatigue and energy, impact on family and caregivers, and insurance and employment issues. Among the speakers were Dr. Scott Baker, Survivorship Program director, and Dr. Karen Syrjala, program co-director.
With help from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a group of survivors was teleconferenced into the event from Survivorship Program affiliate Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. The event and teleconference concluded in Pelton with a panel of survivors; each outlined his or her personal journey with the disease and took part in discussion and question-and-answer sessions.