Ann Jillian to speak at University of Chicago Hospitals cancer survivors celebration, June 3

Ann Jillian to speak at University of Chicago Hospitals cancer survivors celebration, June 3

April 25, 2001

Ann Jillian, an award-winning actress, singer, motivational speaker and breast cancer survivor, will be the keynote speaker for the for the University of Chicago Hospitals' 12th annual Cancer Survivors Day celebration on Sunday, June 3. 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 900 people attended the celebration.

Since her recovery from breast cancer, Jillian has devoted much of her professional and personal energy to rebuilding her career and, more recently, to bringing hope and inspiration to cancer patients.

Jillian, who has won a Golden Globe and been nominated for three Emmy awards, has been involved in show business since she was 10 years old, appearing in several feature films, 25 made-for-TV movies and on Broadway. She won the Golden Globe "Best Actress" award in 1988 for her starring role in the "Ann Jillian Story," which depicted her struggle with breast cancer and recovery.

"I was an actress fighting for my life against breast cancer," she recalls. "How could I get the TV networks to continue buying shows from me after I lost both breasts? Talk about losing your edge!"

But by "believing in herself," relying on established skills, and "reinventing her product," she was able to return to acting and continue her successful career.

Since 1985, she has added "motivational speaker" to her impressive list of credits. She speaks to business, medical, professional and women's groups, using humor and music to entertain while offering information about life, health, and the joys of being a mother. Because of her advocacy efforts, Good Housekeeping Magazine named her in 1990 as one of the most admired women of the world.

Cancer Survivors Day events include:

Noon-1:00 p.m.
Refreshments, mingling and a chance to visit information booths that assist cancer patients and survivors.

1:00 p.m.
Welcoming remarks from Ken Kates, Vice President, University of Chicago Hospitals, and Peggy Baker, Director of Cancer Support Programs.

1:10-1:20 p.m.
Remarks by Dr. Danny Takanishi, assistant professor of surgery and director of the University of Chicago Breast Center.

1:25-1:45 p.m.
Entertainment by Lynne Jordan & The Shivers.

1:45-1:50 p.m.
Nancy Keppel, breast cancer survivor.

1:50 p.m.
Keynote speaker Ann Jillian

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

"Events such as this one can take away some of the stress that comes with a diagnosis of cancer," said Peggy Baker, Director of Cancer Support Programs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. "This gathering is a chance for cancer survivors to see old friends, chat with their caregivers in a non-clinical setting, and celebrate their success. It also allows newly diagnosed patients to meet with hundreds of long-term survivors--walking evidence that there is good reason for hope despite a cancer diagnosis ."

Admission is free, but participants are requested to make reservations by calling 1-800-UCH-0200.