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’Live, Reach, Celebrate’ at Anderson Network’s 20th Anniversary Patient and Caregiver Conference


Cancer Patient and Actor Gerald McRaney Takes the Podium as Keynote Speaker

Gerald McRaney has played a farmer and a hit man, an old West gunfighter and a corrupt Southern sheriff, as well as his popular TV roles as a private investigator in “Simon and Simon” and a no-nonsense military man with children in “Major Dad.” But the role he recently faced at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center - lung cancer patient - wasn’t one for which he had studied or auditioned.

However, “Live, Reach, Celebrate,” the theme of this year’s Anderson Network conference for patients and caregivers on Sept. 4-6, were actions McRaney learned early in life. When he injured his knee playing football in junior high, he joined the drama club. And while his path to stardom was a constant challenge, he kept reaching. This is the story he will share with participants in a keynote address at the 20th anniversary Living Fully With and Beyond Cancer Conference at the Houston Marriott Westchase.

In addition to McRaney, the conference will feature the traditional sampling of complementary and integrative modalities and informational breakout sessions in English. For the first time, four sessions will be presented in Spanish. These will cover cancer and heart disease, diabetes, pain, exercise and relaxation.

For the third year, the event is held in conjunction with the Beth Sanders Moore Young Breast Cancer Survivors’ Program, which will offer a panel of oncologists, nurses and patient advocates to discuss the myriad challenges these young women face.

The traditional medical panel, offering updates on the latest in cancer research, will again be led by John Mendelsohn, M.D., president of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The closing keynote speaker is Ronnie Kaye, a young breast cancer survivor, psychotherapist and author of “Spinning Straw Into Gold,” a book based on her personal and professional experience.

Besides being filled with a wealth of health information, the conference also has plenty of fun and networking events: a Thursday night mixer and a Friday evening banquet with comedienne Jeanne Robertson, a former Miss North Carolina.

Thanks to M. D. Anderson, corporate sponsors and individual donors, the cost is $75 per person for the full conference, $50 for Saturday only. This includes all meals, activities and self-parking.

The conference is open to all cancer patients, regardless of where treatment was received, as well as their family and friends.


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