Cancer survivors and their loved ones will learn how the companionship and affection of pets can nurture them in ways that nothing else can during Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday, May 16. The free event will run from 1 to 3 p.m. at South Miami Hospital’s Clarke Education Center, S. Dixie Highway (US 1) and SW 62nd Avenue.
Pet therapy dog handlers and their furry friends will be on hand to discuss how their visits give an emotional boost to hospitalized cancer patients. And, Beth Ruhmann, Arts in Healthcare Supervisor at South Miami Hospital, will provide information on the many benefits of pets.
“Research is proving that it doesn’t matter what type of pet it is to derive a benefit, just as long as the animal is of interest to the patient,” said Ruhmann, who supervises the pet therapy program at South Miami Hospital. “Studies show that contact with pets reduces anxiety and lowers blood pressure and heart rate. The animals’ unconditional love and affection can increase morale and feelings of well-being.”
Cancer survivors, their families and friends are invited to this uplifting event sponsored by the Baptist-South Miami Regional Cancer Program. A light lunch will be served. The event is free, but reservations are required. Call 786-596-2871 by Wednesday, May 12.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a photo of a favorite past or present pet for a “Pet Pin-up” display. Those attending also can share stories about how their four-legged friends helped them cope with illness.
The Baptist-South Miami Regional Cancer Program is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest, faith-based, notfor- profit healthcare organization in the region. Cancer services are offered at Baptist, Baptist Children’s and South Miami Hospitals. Baptist Health also includes Homestead Hospital, Mariners Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute, and Baptist Outpatient Services.