Soirée on the Bay Returns to Support Cancer Care

HYANNIS – A fundraising event to help cancer patients on Cape Cod is back this year after a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cape Cod Healthcare’s Soirée on the Bay supports cancer care treatment for both Cape Cod and Falmouth Hospital.

Soirée on the Bay committee member Phyllis Connelly said this year the committee unanimously agreed to raise funds for Cape Cod Healthcare’s new nurse navigator program.

The committee member spoke on the new role, which was designed to help cancer patients throughout their treatment journeys.

“To have that one person, a nurse navigator, to help us navigate the process from the initial diagnosis through the treatment process and everything in between, that one shoulder to lean on,” Connelly said.

Connelly said the committee was still able to raise money last year without an in-person event.

Through online fundraising, the group helped provide additional care for over 700 cancer patients.

Although the committee is currently focusing their fundraising efforts on the nurse navigator program, their work has also centered on supporting a resource center called Alice’s Classroom located at Cape Cod Hospital.

Connelly said that Alice’s Classroom is an educational initiative for cancer patients, caregivers, and clinicians.

It has helped fund additional supports like breast cancer education books and the Paxman cold cap, which is used to cool a patient’s scalp and prevent hair loss during chemotherapy treatment.

The program is named in honor of Alice O’Neill, who was a teacher for over four decades, including many years at Osterville Elementary School.

Connelly said that O’Neill was dedicated to helping cancer patients through her work with the committee, even while she was dealing with her own cancer journey. O’Neill died in 2021 and the committee continues to raise money in her name.

The Soirée on the Bay is happening Wednesday, September 21 from 6pm to 9pm in Dennis Port at the Pelham House.

Listen to the full Sunday Journal interview with Phyllis Connelly and Nurse Navigator Joan Macallister.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.
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