Los Angeles Chargers, Breast Cancer Survivors Aim for Stress-Free Zone

By Orange County Register

Categories: Featured News
October 3, 2018

Perhaps for a couple of hours on an overcast Tuesday morning, two dozen women were able to forget their cancer fight, as they smiled, laughed and connected through art … and football.

Hoag Family Cancer Institute’s Creative Expressions class celebrated Breast Cancer Survivors month with a visit from athletes and members of the Los Angeles Chargers football team, including cornerback Casey Hayward, punter Drew Kaser and former Charger and Hall-of-Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.

The quarterly event was designed to be a “positive, uplifting and a creative opportunity for women to socialize with other people who have been through what they have,” said Caitlin Glenn, lead oncology social worker at the Patty & George Hoag Cancer Center.

Susie Spanos, wife of Chargers owner Dean Spanos and a 12-year survivor herself, started the light-hearted morning out with “Referee Aerobics.” She slipped into a black-and-white referee’s jersey, getting the participants laughing and moving before they started a football-themed painting.

Patients need designated times to forget their illnesses and “cherish their life and embrace their living,” Spanos said. “It’s super fun today. Survivors get to express themselves in a new way.”

Liz Nevins, diagnosed Aug. 2, is in her sixth week of treatment. “Everyone is so supportive,” she said of the class. “They don’t let you dwell on the not-so-good things.”

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