Last year, a first-of-its-kind local event drew in Ohio State football legend Chris Spielman, as well as a host of vital health information and resources, while bringing out tears among many of those who attended.
This year, The Michelle Bard Geary Cancer Symposium returns to Bryan on Thursday, Oct. 17, with featured speaker Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller, the most decorated U.S. gymnast in Olympic history and a survivor of ovarian cancer.
Inducted twice into the Olympic Hall of Fame, and a member of the famed “Magnificent Seven” team, Miller’s total competition medal count includes 59 international (seven Olympic) and 49 national medals, with more than half of them the gold variety.
After her retirement from competition and subsequently starting a new career as a health and wellness advocate for women and children, Miller was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. Having since overcome that diagnosis, Miller has supplemented her advocacy duties, traveling the country as a motivational speaker.
To be held at New Hope Community Church, 15627 U.S. 127, in Bryan, in addition to the luncheon where Miller will speak, the day will include cancer-related continuing education for medical professionals, screening opportunities and a panel discussion.
Those seminars will include “Colorectal Cancers Among Young Patients” and “Gynecological Cancers” from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.; “Palliative Care in Oncology” and “Cancer Care Practice - Rural vs. Urban Barriers to Care” from 1:30-2:30 p.m.; and “Collaboration in Cancer Care” from 2:45-3:45 p.m.
Dermatology and head/neck screenings will be held by appointment (call 419-636-9800).
The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. and run until 1 p.m.
Additionally, a panel discussion, “Barriers to Cancer Care,” will be held from 4-5 p.m. featuring members of the Williams County Healthy Department and medical professionals, moderated by Northwest State Community College President Dr. Michael Thomson.
For more information, visit chwchospital.org/symposium2019.
Now in its second year, the symposium is held annually on behalf of Bard Manufacturing Company’s James and Joan Bard, Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers and Parkview Physicians Group in honor of the memory of Bard family daughter Michelle Bard Geary, who passed away in January 2018, at age 58, after a battle with cancer.
According to a 2018 news release from the Bard family, “Our family is sponsoring this symposium as a way to honor Michelle’s memory and we hope to help other women going through a similar situation. It’s also part of the healing process for our family if we can somehow use our experience to help others.”
The event also aims to raise awareness of cancer, which is responsible for one in six deaths globally, according to the World Health Organization.