Bell sounds triumph for cancer patients

| 15/02/2018
CNS Local Life

HSA oncology team celebrating with patients Licci Powell and Neil Cox

(CNS Local Life): Two cancer patients at the Health Services Authority (HSA) Chemotherapy Unit recently rang a special bell to signify the end of their treatment. On 2 February, the HSA, in partnership with the Cayman Islands Cancer Society (CICS), presented the “Final Day of Treatment Bell” in honour of World Cancer Day, celebrated globally on 4 February.

Ringing a bell, presenting certificates and other forms of symbolic action to signal a patient’s last day of treatment has become standard practice in treatment facilities across the world, explained an HSA press release. Given Cayman’s rich seafaring history, the HSA and CICS identified a bell as the most suitable symbol for the community.

Neil Cox and Licci Powell, who both recently completed treatment, were the first patients to celebrate the major milestone by ringing the bell. Staff of the Chemotherapy Unit also presented them with certificates marking the end of their treatment.

“We want the sound of this bell be the sound of victory to our patients and one that helps to restore their hopes,” said oncology nurse Rosanna Humphreys-Johnson in the press release. “By celebrating the moment with our patients we hope they will feel how genuinely proud we are of them and know that they will always remain a part of our family.”

Jennifer Weber, CICS operations manager, spoke of the significance of the bell. “Speaking with a representative from the Seamen’s Association, I learned that ringing a ship’s bell eight times indicates all clear at the end of a watch,” she said. “That history and symbolism really resonated with the patients who were the first to celebrate with eight rings. It was evident that it meant a lot to them and the Cancer Society is so happy to be a part of their experience and others to come.”

The HSA and CICS said they hope that the bell will inspire many other patients to continue to fight through their treatment until they can experience their “all clear” moment.

The bell has already served as an inspiration to a patient who was in the Chemotherapy Unit having her treatment during the installation. “She called me over and excitedly proclaimed that she will be the person ringing the bell someday because she has only one treatment left,” Weber said.

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Category: Medical and Health

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