The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has chosen Theresa A. Keresztes, a resident of Wellesley, Massachusetts, to receive the 2016 Survivor Circle Award. Keresztes will be presented with the award, including $1,000, during an awards ceremony at ASTRO’s 58th Annual Meeting, September 25-28, 2016, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
The Survivor Circle Award recognizes a cancer survivor who lives in the region where ASTRO holds its Annual Meeting and has dedicated his or her time and energy in service and support of the local cancer community. Keresztes is a volunteer with the Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project, based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and other groups.
“As a breast cancer survivor and volunteer, Ms. Keresztes has inspired others through her volunteer work on educational prevention programs and other services for people with cancer. She is a wonderful role model and led by example as she started and maintained a healthy exercise and diet program throughout her own radiation treatment course. She didn’t stop there, though, and generously raised money for under-insured breast cancer patients as she completed her first Boston Marathon earlier this year,” said ASTRO President-elect Brian D. Kavanagh, MD, MPH, FASTRO. “ASTRO is honored to present Ms. Keresztes with the 2016 Survivor Circle Award.”
Keresztes was diagnosed with ductal
carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in 2007, undergoing a lumpectomy and radiation therapy
at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She received tamoxifen for five
years following treatment.
She said she always liked to volunteer,
and following the end of her treatment in 2010 for DCIS, she became involved
with the Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project. She now sits on the nonprofit’s
board. She said the group has done great work in the community through a
variety of ways: “helping form legislation on non-toxic environmental
protection against pesticides; holding educational forums on preventative
measures to lower incidence of disease for survivors and families; and promoting
water quality, decreasing pollution, and fostering healthy habits relative to
food, diet and exercise.”
“At the time I joined, the nonprofit was
in need of programming and marketing support,” she said. “Today we communicate
with our community via a new website, social media channels, monthly blogs, newsletters
and free public forums. We also partner with strategic groups to build
awareness about health and prevention and launched SmartScan, the only app that
tells you what ingredients are potentially unsafe or harmful from the
supermarket to the hardware store.”
Keresztes launched an event called The My
Girls Gala Fashion Fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research, sponsored by a jeweler
in Boston and Keresztes’ newly launched company, My Girls Skin Care, to raise
funds for MGH's breast cancer research programs.
“The event was unique in that the models
were also breast cancer patients, and they felt terrific taking part. Their
faces beamed as they took the catwalk for the first time since treatment, but
this time in beautiful clothing hand-selected for them and specifically
designed for breast asymmetry, which can result from surgery.”
Later this year, she will walk the
runway herself for Catwalk for a Cure and Susan G. Komen of Southern New
Keresztes said she was honored to be
chosen for ASTRO’s 2016 Survivor Circle Award. She recommends that those
considering volunteering examine what kind of activities they enjoy most and
look for groups that support those efforts.
“I like to volunteer where I may learn
from others and get an opportunity to work on new and creative projects that
help me grow personally and professionally,” she said. “However, one of the
greatest gifts I have discovered over the years is that giving to others who do
not expect help from others, most often strangers, is the best reward of all.”
For more information about ASTRO’s 58th
Annual Meeting, visit www.astro.org/AnnualMeeting.
For more information about the Survivor Circle, visit www.rtanswers.org/survivorcircle.
For media requests, contact Liz Gardner, Media Relations Manager, or Erin L. Boyle, Communications Manager.
is the premier radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000
members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation
therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in
treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in
radiation oncology, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through
professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health
standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO
publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology •
Biology • Physics (www.redjournal.org), Practical Radiation Oncology (www.practicalradonc.org) and Advances in
Radiation Oncology (www.advancesradonc.org);
maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers (www.rtanswers.org); and created the Radiation Oncology
Institute (www.roinstitute.org), a nonprofit foundation to support
research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the
critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. To learn more
about ASTRO, visit www.astro.org.