The new Judy DiMarzo Survivorship Program at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center is being funded by a generous gift from Judy’s Fund: Hope for Cancer Survivors. The fund was established by the family and friends of Rochester resident Judy DiMarzo, who lost her nine-year battle with lymphoma in 2009.
The survivorship program will help the increasing number of patients who are beating cancer because of breakthroughs in research and treatment, earlier detection, and more accurate diagnoses.
As the first comprehensive survivorship program in the greater Rochester region, the program will help patients navigate the complexities of cancer survivorship care and serve as the next step in a patient’s care after completion of cancer treatment. Patients and their families receive personalized treatment summaries and care plans. These are also shared with each patient’s primary care physician to help ensure continuity of care.
So far, more than 60 patients with lymphoma or breast cancer have participated in a survivorship visit. By the end of 2013, the program will cover other cancers including: colon, gastric, rectal, prostate, head and neck, lung, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, testicular, central nervous system malignancy, and sarcoma. There are plans to add cancers such as bone marrow transplant / leukemia, pancreas, thyroid, renal, and bladder in 2014.
Patients and families are seen in survivorship clinics run by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses within each specialty. This ensures the providers know specific treatments and clinical trials, and they often know the patients as well.
“While Judy was receiving treatment, our family learned so much about the meaningful difference Wilmot Cancer Center has on the community and patients that are cared for each day,” said Richard DiMarzo, Judy’s husband. “To give back to a place that touched our lives so deeply will not only help create a program to better support cancer survivors, but also allow us to have Judy in the minds of others—a true gift for our family.”