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Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital Dedicates “Anthony’s Room”
On Friday, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital unveiled “Anthony’s Room,” a dedicated hospital room for young adults dealing with cancer.
The room is a partnership between MillardFillmoreSuburbanHospital and the Anthony V. Mannino Foundation (AVM) Inc. The room has been constructed and decorated with the primary focus on providing a calming atmosphere for both the patient and family during their stay. It has been outfitted with a flat screen TV, games, a sling box, WiFi capabilities, and special furniture to help accommodate the patient and a family member for overnight visits.
“We are proud to partner with the Mannino family and the AVM Foundation,” said Chris Lane, the president of MillardFillmoreSuburbanHospital. “This room will provide young adults with the proper care and respite needed as they battle this terrible disease.”
Anthony V. Mannino passed away in March 2009 after a 22 month battle with esophageal cancer. Throughout his ordeal Mannino struggled withhis care, as young adults end up as “tweeners” when dealing with cancer.
Pediatric cancer patients, like their adult counter parts, have options when it comes to hematology and oncology care. Young adults, in the 18-26 range, often have clinical, financial, social and emotional needs that often go unmet.
Friday's dedication was held on Mannino’s birthday.
“Anthony would have turned 25 today,” said Cindy Mannino, Anthony’s mom and the president of the AVM Foundation. “We are so proud that his memory and legacy will live on with this beautiful room. May this room bring comfort to the young adult and their family while they are here at MillardFillmoreSuburbanHospital.”
The mission of The Anthony V. Mannino Foundation is to financially assist young adults in the age group of (18-26) while they are undergoing their cancer treatment. The foundation is also aiming to develop support programs to aid this unique age group, with their special needs, as they battle cancer.
According to Cindy Mannino and the AVM Foundation, some of the unique problems that present themselves with this age group are:
- They must stay a full time student to be enrolled in their parent's health insurance. Chemotherapy and radiation makes it impossible to feel well enough to take the four courses needed to be a full time student.
- Lack of psychological help and support. There wasn't a trained psychiatrist, specific to this age group, on staff at the hospital he was treated to help Anthony deal withhis prognosis. Panic attacks, lack of sleep, night sweats, and lack of appetite are many of the side-effects of dealing with cancer at this age.
- There are fertility issues. It is important that the patient knows they have the opportunity to have a family. The option should be available to discuss storing their sperm/eggs. Psychologically, it gives the patient the hope they need to “fight” knowing they may still have the opportunity to have children in the future.
- This age group should not have to be part of the general population in the hospital. It isn't good for them, psychologically, to be placed with an older generation, or end-of-life patients, while they are receiving their treatment.
- There is a huge need for support groups, specific to this age group, and they should be made available, at the on-set of the diagnosis, to these courageous young adults.
- There is a need for financial support while this age group is undergoing their treatment. While Anthony Mannino had the full support of his family and friends, many young adults don't have that support. Often times, the young adult is away at college and their family isn’t readily available, or they are working a full time job and have to leave it during their treatment. There are tremendous costs to cancer and not every family or young adult has the means to afford all the costs that cancer brings.
“In his long battle, Anthony fought bravely with dignity and compassion,” said Cindy Mannino. “As we look back on those 22 months, we’ve come to cherish and learn from them, as well. It was not uncommon for Anthony to comfort and encourage others….young and old, in and out of treatment centers, while undergoing his own treatment. It is in that same spirit of compassion, courage and hope that we carry on his fight in his name through his foundation and this room.”