Survivors and patients currently undergoing treatment were honored at Dyker Beach Golf Course

Brooklyn, NY (June 13, 2023) – On Tuesday, June 13, Maimonides Health hosted its 17th annual Cancer Survivors Day to honor and celebrate cancer patients who have received or are currently undergoing treatment at Maimonides Cancer Center. More than 300 patients and their family members and Cancer Center staff participated in the celebration at Dyker Beach Golf Course, which included dinner and a performance by the Mazel Tov Cocktail Band, featuring musicians who are also Maimonides surgeons and surgery residents.

“This event is our opportunity to pay tribute to the remarkable bravery, strength, determination, and perseverance of our survivors and their loved ones demonstrate throughout the course of their cancer treatment journeys, said Patrick Borgen, MD, Chair of the Department of Surgery and Director of Maimonides Breast Center.

The highlight of the evening was the Cancer Survivors Awards, presented by oncologists to patients who demonstrated exceptional courage and determination in overcoming their cancer diagnoses. These awards were presented to Tammy Smith, Isabella Bardon, and Ann Ljuba by Maimonides oncologists Dr. Rebecca Rhee, Dr. Ludovico Guarini, Dr. Mahmut Celiker, and Dr. Joshua Feinberg.

“I love my doctors so much, said Isabella Bardon, patient. “They were so supportive, and they made having cancer more comfortable for me even though it was the most uncomfortable thing I ever had to go through. I am so thankful for them.”

“I want to thank the staff at Maimonides for being so kind and caring,” said Ann Ljuba, patient. “Every time I was there — and some days were very difficult — they were there to support me.”

In addition, Maimonides oncologists Dr. Susan Burdette-Radoux and Dr. Ludovico Guarini were presented with American Cancer Society Relay for Life Awards. Millie Diaz, ultrasound technologist at Maimonides Breast Center, was presented with the Community Engagement Award for her work informing and connecting the community with the Breast Center’s services.

The annual event not only demonstrates the strong bonds formed between patients and the Cancer Center providers and staff, but also the impact of advanced treatment options available at Brooklyn’s first fully accredited cancer center. Last year, Maimonides Cancer Center saw a record 110,000 cancer patient visits, with many patients diagnosed with advanced cancers. 

“The Covid pandemic not only took its toll on patients who struggled with the virus itself,” said Dr. Borgen. “It also forced people to delay seeking routine cancer screenings and evaluations for symptoms of cancer types that could be treated easily if detected early.”

Nonetheless, Kevin Becker, MD, Chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Maimonides Cancer Center, notes that even patients with advanced cancers are benefitting from innovative therapies and treatment options that not only are saving more lives than ever before, but are also allowing patients to have greater quality of life during treatment.

“Over the past three decades, we’ve seen more than a third increase in the number of survivors of cancer across this country – that’s 3.8 million people,” said Dr. Becker. “Tonight, we get to celebrate how many more people are seeing birthdays, seeing babies born, seeing nieces, seeing graduations, seeing marriages. We are here tonight to celebrate that accomplishment.” 

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About Maimonides Cancer Center

Maimonides Cancer Center is recognized for its award-winning treatment excellence for patients of all ages. The comprehensive center is home to New York’s top oncologists, with a fully accredited Breast Center, Breast Imaging Center of Excellence and Prostate Center offering the latest minimally invasive approaches, such as HIFU. Maimonides patients receive personalized treatment plans from experts who use the most innovative treatment therapies and provide access to clinical trials that advance cancer research and outcomes.

About Maimonides Health

Maimonides Health is Brooklyn’s largest healthcare system, serving over 350,000 patients each year through the system’s 3 hospitals, 2,000+ physicians and more than 80 community-based practices and outpatient centers. The system is anchored by Maimonides Medical Center, one of the nation’s largest independent teaching hospitals and home to centers of excellence in numerous specialties; Maimonides Midwood Community Hospital (formerly New York Community Hospital), a 130-bed adult medical-surgical hospital; and Maimonides Children’s Hospital, Brooklyn’s only children’s hospital and only pediatric trauma center. Maimonides’ clinical programs rank among the best in the country for patient outcomes, including its Heart and Vascular Institute, Neurosciences Institute, Bone and Joint Center, and Cancer Center. Maimonides is an affiliate of Northwell Health and a major clinical training site for SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. For additional information, please visit

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