Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital hosted its first-ever Drive-thru Cancer Survivors Day Celebration on Friday, June 5.


The sunflower-themed event, titled “Rise Up & Shine,” took the place of the annual large gathering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet still offered a chance to honor survivors and caregivers. Approximately 160 survivors participated in the drive-thru event, where they received a gift bag with a healthy cookbook, essential oils for aromatherapy, hand sanitizer and lip balm, along with resources for survivors and a sunflower cookie to remind them to “rise up and shine.”


“Since we were not able to host a large gathering, we had to get creative in offering a different kind of celebration,” said Amy Sebastian-Deutsch, director of oncology services. “The drive-thru format provided a safe way to celebrate these survivors’ incredible strength and resilience, and we are proud to honor their lives and encourage them to rise up and shine, especially during the recent challenging times.”


Survivors also enjoyed uplifting music by music therapists from the Houston Methodist Center for Performing Arts Medicine. Jen Townsend, Ashley Lundquist and Liz Laquaite, under the guidance of Todd Frazier, brought the “Rise Up” theme song to life and encouraged survivors with music throughout the event.


According to the National Cancer Institute, there are currently more than 16.9 million cancer survivors in the U.S. today. National Cancer Survivors Day events held around the country allow survivors to come together and celebrate life.