Pastor Rhonda Holbert Santifer (aka Pastor Rhonda), CLCM founder and CEO and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science Division of Research and Training, hosted “Living the New Normal: Cancer Survivors and Caregivers Conference,” on Saturday, February 16, at Charles R. Drew Medical Center.
The day was launched by Niki Inspiration, the mistress of ceremony who was able to bring humor to a not to so humorous subject. “Sharing educational information does not have to be boring,” said a participant. Greetings were given by the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, Dr. Steve Michael, Dr. Diane Breckenridge, dean of nursing, and Dr. Ebere Ume, program director, RN-BSN, PI Cancer Survivorship and Caregiver Program, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
The keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Helen Easterling Williams, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University, opened with a powerful message that encouraged all to release the stress and live the new normal. The panel of prostate cancer survivors, Rev. Charles Latchison, Lead Pastor of Light & Life West Church, Bishop Lonnie McNamee, Pastor of Do Right Christian Church and Rev. Robert Taylor, Pastor of Beulah Baptist Church, led a discussion of their personal cancer experiences and how family members can support them.
The men found it important to know and remember that each man is different, understand that a diagnosis of prostate cancer affects the mind and the body. They encouraged men to allow family to support them in their journey.
Dr. Sharon Cobb and Dr. Ebere Ume, Co-PIs of the Cancer Survivorship and Caregiver Program, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science provided a stimulating conversation regarding depression and anxiety for both the cancer survivors and caregivers. Dr. Kimlin Ashing, City of Hope: CCARE and Dr. Kathye Jenkins, Cynthia Perry Ray Foundation informed the survivors of the importance of having a cancer survivors care plan at the beginning of the journey so that you can track and keep up with the care being given. The conference wrapped up with a presentation by Dr. Annette Stanton and Kimberly Martin from UCLA Project SOAR, on the importance of clinical trials and the statewide breast cancer research project they are working on.
“Celebrate Life Cancer Ministry understands that it takes a community to conquer cancer,” says Pastor Rhonda. She says conference was put together with the help of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Women of Color Breast Cancer Project, Life Worth Saving, Sister’s Breast Cancer Survivors Network, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, City of Hope, Shiloh Baptist Church, National Congress of Black Women, Susan G. Komen Los Angeles County, UCLA CTSI, Cynthia Perry Ray Foundation, The Denise Roberts Breast Cancer Foundation and the Watt Area Ministers (WAM).
For those seeking assistance through their cancer journey feel free to reach out to Pastor Rhonda Holbert Santifer 424.258.5433 or email PastorRhonda@celebratelifecm.org