William Martin of North Babylon is a prostate cancer survivor who lost two brothers to cancer.
The 69-year-old and others who have been touched by cancer were invited to the new $46.5 million Imbert Cancer Center in Bay Shore recently to write messages of hope and healing on the treatment area’s unfinished concrete walls.
Martin’s words were short and sweet, and borrowed from the 1973 New York Mets’ catchphrase:
“You Gotta Believe.”
He added, “Body, Mind and Spirit.”
All patients receiving radiation therapy at the center on East Main Street in Bay Shore will see the hopeful messages in the unfinished space reserved for the second linear accelerator, in anticipation of the program growing, center officials said.
“As a survivor I have a lot to be grateful for,” said Martin, a retired NYPD sergeant who’s been married for 46 years and has eight grandchildren. “I can put myself in the shoes of patients going through radiation treatment and I want people to see what is possible in the future.”
Martin underwent 45 days of radiation therapy about six years ago at Southside Hospital, and was among dozens invited last month to the special Foundations of Strength showing to help draw attention to the new state-of-the-art cancer center that just opened to patients.
Other inspirational words written on the wall included:
“It will get better, stay strong,” wrote another former patient.
One family member’s 7-year old granddaughter added these words inside a heart drawing: “Believe, Love, Madison.”
“The community event was emotional and validating; it allowed former patients, caregivers and staff members to express gratitude as well as pass on more permanent words of inspiration to future cancer patients,” said Dr. John Ames, the center’s director of radiation medicine.
Part of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute, the center in Bay Shore provides cancer care that includes medical oncology, radiation therapy services, accredited imaging, specialized surgery, as well as clinical trials.
It also boasts, among other cutting-edge devices, a multi-million dollar linear accelerator for super-precise radiation treatment.
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Photo: William Martin and his message of hope at the Imbert Cancer Center. (courtesy)