The 34th Annual Susan Fund Awards Ceremony was held on June 28th, at the Center for Survivorship in Southport, CT. Twenty-five Fairfield County cancer survivors were awarded scholarships.
Jeff Keith, the director of the Center and an original Susan Fund Scholarship recipient welcomed the students and their families, the Susan Fund Board Members and invited guests.
Jeff gave a brief history of his cancer experience and how the scholarship money from the Susan Fund helped him. Several years ago he changed careers and founded the Center for Survivorship, a place that reflects the increasing cure rates for cancer patients and the need for a place for these survivors to exercise and meet with a community that understands their life experiences.
Jeff then introduced Ann Lloyd, the president of the Susan Fund, and presented a $25,000 contribution from The Center to The Susan Fund. The gift was unexpected and very graciously accepted by Ann in behalf of The Susan Fund.
Ann founded the fund in memory of her daughter, Susan DavisLloyd.
Susan’s dream was to attend Colgate University to which she had been accepted early decision. Although that aspiration never became a reality, throughout the 34 years of the Fund’s existence, Susan’s dream has remained alive for other cancer survivors.
Will Lloyd, Susan’s brother, spoke of Susan and particularly recalled her humor and secret language that he could never understand. Hid description of Susan and her courage during her illness conveyed a special understanding as to why this fund is so important to all of the recipients.
Aaron Gaberman, a three-time Susan Fund scholar, an Ambassador for the Center For Survivorship, and a past speaker at the CT Challenge Bike Ride, added to the spirit of the event by his violin solo, Ashokan Farewell, composed by Jay Ungar.
Marc Friedman, a six time Susan Fund Scholar, spoke as a graduating recipient. He thanked the Board for their support during his undergraduate and graduate school years.
The awards were presented by Board member, Kathleen DiGiovanna. The recipients were honored for the strength, determination and resilience they demonstrated as they coped with cancer. Cancer never stopped them from living life fully and achieving their goals that in many cases were colored by their struggle. Today, each of them had a success story that the reception attendees were privileged to share.