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Cleveland Clinic Cancer Patients Receive Helping Hands

May 6, 2009

The Breast Cancer Book Club, coordinated by the Comprehensive Community Cancer Center at Cleveland Clinic Florida, was recently presented with more than 100 hand-painted tote bags created by local Girl Scouts as gifts for chemotherapy patients. The girls of Junior Troop 10182 and Brownie Troop 10577 of the Royal Palm Service Unit in Weston decorated each bag with a child’s hand, an adult’s hand and a heart, representing the desire of a child to help an adult undergoing cancer treatment.

“These small gestures have a big effect on patients,” says Elizabeth Stone, M.D., an oncologist with Cleveland Clinic Florida, which recently earned approval for its cancer program from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. “The kind thoughts expressed by these young girls make cancer treatment a bit more tolerable.”

The community service project was led by two cancer survivors and Cleveland Clinic patients Sonia Malter and Catherine Rank. It was done in conjunction with the local YMCA, which donated the space for the project.

Cleveland Clinic’s Breast Cancer Book Club was founded by Dr. Stone and Cara Kondaki, a social worker in the Hematology and Oncology Department. The club empowers women battling cancer by focusing on books that highlight women overcoming all types of adversity. For more information about this support group, call 954-659-5604.

Cleveland Clinic, located in Weston and West Palm Beach, Florida, is a not-for-profit, multi-specialty, academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic has nearly 170 physicians with expertise in 35 specialties. The medical campus is fully integrated and includes diagnostic centers, outpatient surgery, and a 24-hour emergency department located in the state-of-the-art hospital, which was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® in cardiovascular care by Thomson Healthcare in 2007 and 2008. Cleveland Clinic was 1 out of only 5 hospitals in the nation recognized at the Gold level by the American Heart Association for performance in all three categories of the Get with the Guidelines program: Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure & Stroke. Cleveland Clinic Florida is an integral part of Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where providing outstanding patient care is based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Physicians at Cleveland Clinic are experts in the treatment of complex conditions that are difficult to diagnose. For more information about Cleveland Clinic Florida, visit