Conference for cancer survivors set for April 17 to19

SAN ANTONIO (March 12, 2009) – For cancer patients, thriving as they survive is, in part, a matter of mastering new skills. Adult cancer survivors and their caregivers can spend a weekend brushing up on those survival skills April 17 to19 at the Y.O. Ranch Resort and Conference Center in Kerrville. The annual springtime conference is hosted by the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

Those who sign up for “Trails to Survivorship” can choose from a variety of workshops, such as “Romance on the Range: Intimacy & Cancer,” “Trails to Healing: Meditation,” and “Round Up Your Feelings.” They can enjoy hands-on activities, such as massage, Reiki, yoga and Tai Chi. Entertainment follows a Western theme with Karaoke Cowboy Jim Murff, and a hayride into an exotic park to view and photograph over 50 species of exotic game from around the world.

“Our Surviving and Thriving conference is truly a special event,” says Mary Jackson, CTRC’s director of patient and family services. “It’s a place where cancer survivors and caregivers can get away from the pressure and stress of everyday life and gain new skills and knowledge to enhance their quality of life. We’ve done our job when people leave feeling empowered and renewed.”

People in all stages of survivorship are invited to attend, from the newly diagnosed to those who are many years past treatment. The weekend provides an opportunity for survivors and caregivers to share their insights with others, and to discuss issues such as long-term side effects, psychosocial adjustment, nutrition support and insurance issues.
Speakers include award-winning author Ruth Pennebaker, a 14-year cancer survivor and commentator on KUT-FM, Austin’s public radio station. Ruth and her sister, Ellen, also known as the Fabulous Geezersisters, blog at Another speaker, Kathleen Smith, is a two-time survivor of lung cancer and a registered lobbyist for the American Cancer Society in New Hampshire and in Washington, D.C.

To register online before the March 27 deadline, go to and click on Surviving & Thriving 2009. The $150 registration fee includes all meals, lodging, activities and materials. A limited number of scholarships are available to those who can demonstrate a financial need. Event sponsors include Citi, the global financial services company. Call (210) 450-5574 for more information.



The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the nation’s leading academic research and treatment centers, serving more than 4.4 million people in the high-growth corridor of Central and South Texas including Austin, San Antonio, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. CTRC is one of a few elite cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only three in Texas. A world leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, The CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) is internationally recognized for conducting the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug trials program in the world, and participates in the clinical and/or preclinical development of many of the cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit the Web site at

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