Theresa “Terry” Steiner, practice manager of the Elliot Breast Health Center, says she envisioned the breast cancer survivorship event in 2009.
For the next several years, the event steadily grew in size – hosting 250 for dinner at its peak in 2018. In 2019, Steiner says, they decided to make it smaller and more personal for survivors and began celebrating with a High Tea Event.
Then COVID happened.
This year, the High Tea was back on, with nearly 100 gathering at the LaBelle Winery in Derry to learn more about the latest advances in the field and take time to share their stories.
“The event was lovely and very informative. Everybody knew what each person had gone through. We all can relate to each other, and it was wonderful to connect with other people who shared their journeys,” said attendee Carole St. Jean.
The event brought several important resources to the survivors in attendance.
Oncology nurse Nancy Kane, co-founder of the Anticancer Lifestyle Program, spoke to those in attendance about the free, evidence-based, expert-led program that helps people make healthy and informed lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of cancer, cancer recurrence and chronic illness.
Denise Jeffery, NP-C, a nurse practitioner at the Breast Health Center, who specializes in genetic testing, offered an update on the advances in genetic testing.
Kristen Glennon, director of rehabilitation, fitness and occupational health services at Elliot Hospital, told the group about the latest in oncology rehab programs.
And Jacqueline Staiti, of Amanda Thomas Wig & Mastectomy Boutique in Merrimack, was on hand to display some of the products being offered to help breast cancer patients regain confidence and aid with their physical and emotional healing.
“The High Tea is such a wonderful event,” Steiner says. “It’s a celebration of life and survivorship. And though it can be different for patients with metastatic disease, they, too, are able to celebrate what they have.”
The High Tea was sponsored by Radiation Oncology Associates, NH Oncology-Hematology, PA, and Dana-Farber/New Hampshire Oncology-Hematology in Londonderry.