January 16, 2020 – Richmond University Medical Center welcomed the founder of the Cancer Tamer Foundation, Dr. Charley Ferrer and supporters of her organization at the hospital’s Breast and Women’s Center where they donated 50 handmade lymphedema pillows for distribution to breast cancer patients. Cancer Tamer Foundation is a local Staten Island based non-profit launched to help women and men with breast cancer. Hospital president and chief executive officer, Dr. Daniel J. Messina was joined by physicians and staff from the hospital’s oncology department to accept the pillows.
Lymphedema pillows are used by patients who have undergone breast surgery and lymph node removal. These special pillows help alleviate pain and provide comfort. The pillows are placed under the armpit and held in place with ribbons or the person’s arm. They can also be positioned under the breast for support and over the breast to provide a cushion, such as when wearing a seatbelt.
“We are so grateful to Dr. Ferrer and her volunteers for thinking of our patients with this generous act of kindness,” Dr. Messina said. “Staten Island has the highest rate of new cancer cases in New York City and female breast cancer accounts for over 13 percent of all cancer cases on Staten Island. These pillows will be put to good use as we help men and women in their battles against this dreadful disease.”
Cancer Tamer’s mission is to provide education, empowerment services and life-enriching activities to individuals diagnosed with breast cancer. Dr. Ferrer started the organization after her own battle with breast cancer. “All the thanks goes to our volunteers who make these pillows,” Dr. Ferrer said. “Knowing that we can help alleviate pain and discomfort for people is the best feeling in the world.”
The pillows will be distributed to patients undergoing treatment at RUMC’s Breast and Women’s Center, located at 1161 Victory Boulevard, the Center for Cancer Care at 1000 South Avenue and the main hospital at 355 Bard Avenue. Dr. Ferrer offered to provide additional pillows when the need arises.
Opened in October 2018 and offering comprehensive clinical and imaging services, the Breast and Women’s Center is an accredited facility by the American College of Radiology (ACR) after earning gold seals of accreditation last fall for comprehensive mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy and ultrasound guided biopsy services. Earlier this month, the ACR also awarded three-year accreditation to the hospital’s Center for Cancer Care for its positron emission tomography (PET) scan services.