Olympic skater Peggy Fleming to speak at University of Chicago Hospitals cancer survivors celebration, June 6

June 6, 1999

Peggy Fleming, renowned figure skater, winner of the Gold Medal in the 1968 winter Olympics, and breast cancer survivor, will be the keynote speaker for the University of Chicago Hospitals' 10th annual Cancer Survivors Day celebration on Sunday, June 6, 1999. The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Westin Hotel, 909 N. Michigan.

Anyone who has had cancer, plus friends or family members, is welcome to attend. Last year, more than 850 people attended the celebration.

Fleming, 50, is one of 8 million cancer survivors in the United States. In January of 1998, she was diagnosed with localized breast cancer. She had surgery February 10, 1998, which was 30 years to the day after winning her Olympic medal--the only Gold Medal the United States brought home from Grenoble--then had six weeks of radiation therapy.

She recovered quickly and has returned to skating and broadcasting, where she serves as an analyst for ABC Sports.

Referring to battling cancer as "another Olympics, a life Olympics," Fleming decided to share her experience with the public so that other women would be strengthened and encouraged. Promoting breast cancer awareness has become extremely important to her, and her appearances on network television have given hope to millions of cancer patients.

In 1994, for its 40th anniversary issue, Sports Illustrated named Fleming one of "40 For the Ages--40 individuals who have most significantly altered or elevated the world of sports in the last 40 years." She was the only figure skater, as well as one of only four women included.

Fleming dominated women's figure skating for decades. In the 1968 Winter Olympic Games, her free-skating program brought her the Gold Medal by 88.2 points over her closest competitor. In addition, she won five U.S. championships and three world titles. After the Olympics she helped popularize the sport through five television specials--one of which won two Emmys.

Fleming has been invited to the White House by four different administrations and was the first skater ever invited to perform there. She also performed at the 1986 unveiling of the renovated Statue of Liberty.

The Cancer Survivors Day events include:

Noon-1:00 p.m.

"Tree of Life" celebration, where survivors post "leaves" bearing messages of hope on the tree; also buffet lunch, mingling, and a chance to visit information booths from organizations that assist cancer patients and survivors.

1:00

Welcoming remarks from Hospitals staff.

1:15

Remarks by Richard Arenas, MD, breast cancer surgeon and STAR investigator.

1:30

Performer, Lynn Jordan.

1:50

Keynote speaker Peggy Fleming
(and, for children, Rumpelstiltskin, a puppet show).

2:45

Conclusion with cancer survivor Larry Baran, PhD

Cancer Survivors Day provides an opportunity for those with cancer to meet other patients and long-term survivors like Fleming and Baran.

"Events such as this one can alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with a diagnosis of cancer," said Richard Schilsky, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center.

"This gathering is a chance for cancer survivors to celebrate their success and for newly diagnosed patients to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel."

Admission is free, but participants are requested to make reservations by calling 1-800-289-6333.

The University of Chicago Medicine
Communications
950 E. 61st Street, Third Floor
Chicago, IL 60637
Phone (773) 702-0025 Fax (773) 702-3171


Press Contact

John Easton
(773) 702-0025
john.easton@uchospitals.edu