FOR RELEASE: 6/14/2012Contact: John Cappiello, (203) 384-3637

More than 750 attend Bridgeport Hospital cancer survivors’ celebration

More than 750 people attended the June 9 Survivor Safari at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, making it the largest cancer suvivors’ celebration ever sponsored by Bridgeport Hospital’s Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute. Additional support for Survivor Safari was provided by the Coca-Cola Kaulbach Memorial Golf Classic and CT Challenge.

Cancer survivors and their families enjoyed a free evening at the zoo, a variety of catered food, live music and other family entertainment.

“This event is a perfect example of why we do what we do—it’s all about our patients and helping them to continue enjoying their lives, no matter what stage of treatment or recovery they may be in,” says Cancer Institute Co-Medical Director Robert Folman, MD.

Safari guests contributed to a group FingerSmear painting of a Black Rock waterfront scene directed by artist Kelly Sullivan. The painting will be displayed at Bridgeport Hospital’s new outpatient cancer center on Park Avenue in Trumbull, which is currently under construction.

Dr. Donal Conway
Dr. Donal Conway contributes to the FingerSmear painting provided by artist Kelly Sullivan.

Music was provided by the all-physician band DNR, whose members include Bridgeport Hospital emergency medicine physician Donal Conway, MD. Other family activities included face painting, airbrush tattoos, crafts, cupcake decorating and scavenger hunts. The zoo greenhouse served as the setting for massages, yoga and Reiki for the guests.

Refreshments and dinner selections were served by David M. Grant Caterers, Super Duper Weenie, the Cheese Truck and Mister Softee. A special 30” X 40” cake in the shape of the zoo grounds was prepared for the occasion by Carlo’s Bakery from TV’s “Cake Boss.” In addition, Cake Boss pastry chef Mauro Castano decorated cupcakes at the event for guests.

Carlo’s Bakery
Cake Boss pastry chef Mauro Castano with event organizers Kim Bielecki (left) and Stephanie Weirsman (right) and the special cake made by Carlo’s Bakery.

The Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital provides care to more than 1,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year, a greater number than any other hospital in Fairfield County. The hospital is a member of the Yale-New Haven Cancer Network, an alliance of hospitals across Connecticut that provides access to the latest breakthroughs and delivers an unparalleled level of expertise in cancer prevention, early diagnosis and groundbreaking therapy.

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Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.