Press Releases & Announcements

New York Times Best Selling Memoir Guru and Cancer Survivor Joni Rodgers Mixes Wit and Wisdom at the 12th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day

Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Danbury, CT

Joni Rodgers, a critically acclaimed novelist and New York Times bestselling memoir guru who applies the fine art of fiction to the creation of well-crafted memoirs, is the featured guest speaker at the 12th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day® event on Sunday, June 7, 2009 at the Ethan Allen Hotel in Danbury. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m., and the program begins at 9 a.m. According to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, a “cancer survivor” is defined as anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.

A cancer survivor, Joni Rodgers is a well-known author, especially among cancer patients and survivors, for her memoir, Bald in the Land of Big Hair (Harper Collins 2001), which garnered glowing reviews from around the world, was excerpted in Good Housekeeping, and published in condensed format by Readers’ Digest.

The annual National Cancer Survivors Day program is hosted by the Community Cancer Collaborative, a team of non-profit organizations that include The Praxair Cancer Center at Danbury Hospital, Ann’s Place, The Home of I CAN, and the American Cancer Society, takes place from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The Ethan Allen Hotel is located at 21 Lake Avenue in Danbury - Exit 4, off I-84.

Joni was born into a family of gospel/bluegrass musicians and grew up on stage opening for huge-haired country music legends of the 60s and 70s. She continued performing until 1994, when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s’ lymphoma. Joni used the chemotherapy downtime to complete her first two novels, both of which made regional bestseller lists and were short-listed for awards. She began a public speaking career after writing the memoir Bald in the Land of Big Hair, which brought her to the attention of celebrities and others who began asking her to help them tell their stories. According to Joni, film rights for the first book she collaborated on were optioned by Columbia; another project currently underway is being adapted for Broadway.

Between novels and ghostwriting projects, “I enjoy volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and do peer counseling with other cancer survivors,” said Joni. “I also devote time to mentor young writers through my blog, ‘Boxing the Octopus.’ ”

Married to jet plane mechanic/winemaker Gary Rodgers since 1983, she lives in Houston, Texas and is the proud mother of two fine young adults. Join us for a morning that celebrates cancer survivors and enjoy a breakfast buffet, friendship, and this year’s featured guest speaker Joni Rodgers.

Seating for this free event is limited to a cancer survivor and one guest. To reserve your place by June 1, 2009, please call Ann’s Place, The Home of I CAN at (203) 790-6568, Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

About Danbury Hospital

Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with New York Medical College, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. The hospital provides centers of excellence in cardiovascular services, cancer, weight loss surgery, orthopedics, digestive disorders and radiology. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management. Medical staff members are board certified in their specialties.

Danbury Hospital is ranked in the top 5 percent of hospitals in the country for overall clinical performance by HealthGrades® , a leading independent health care rating organization. It is the only health care facility in Connecticut ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for overall clinical performance five years in a row.