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Cancer Survivors Celebrate At Beardsley Zoo Event In Bridgeport

Patient navigator Kim Bielecki, a registered nurse, left, joined Bridgeport Hospital volunteer and cancer survivor John Markovic, right, his wife Margaret and their family at this year’s "Survivor Safari."
Patient navigator Kim Bielecki, a registered nurse, left, joined Bridgeport Hospital volunteer and cancer survivor John Markovic, right, his wife Margaret and their family at this year’s "Survivor Safari." Photo Credit: Provided

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Nearly 600 people – cancer survivors and their families – attended a recent "Survivor Safari" at Bridgeport's Beardsley Zoo.

Sponsored by the Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital, the event reunites survivors and their loved ones with the physicians, nurses and other staff members who cared for them in the hospital.

“Hospital staff are on hand to answer questions but 'Survivor Safari' is all about enjoying the zoo atmosphere and enjoying the company of family and friends,” said Dr. Scott Thornton, a colorectal surgeon and co-medical director of the Cancer Institute, in a press release.

In addition to free zoo admission, the event included refreshments, family activities and music provided by the band Backbeat.

“Survivorship – ensuring that patients and their families continue to get the most out of life during and after cancer treatment – are why we do what we do,” Thornton said in a press release. “Each year brings new advances and promising treatments that fight cancer more effectively, if not cure it altogether. The patients who attend 'Survivor Safari' are proof of that.”

Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health System, is a 383-bed acute care hospital serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties.

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