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Saint Michael's Breast Cancer Survivor Celebrates Five Years Cancer-Free By Giving Gifts to Patients

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Newark, NJ—Newark resident Elsie Best celebrated five years cancer-free this June. Rather than receive gifts she chose to give back to those undergoing cancer treatments at Saint Michael’s Medical Center (SMMC) and brought gifts for chemotherapy patients from her church group, the Missionary Society at Philemon Missionary Baptist Church, Newark. Patients received gift bags filled with toiletries, warm socks, peppermint candies and bibles. Best also presented the SMMC Foundation with a check for $100 designated to The Cancer Center.

“God kept me here for a reason,” explained Best. “To be an advocate for cancer survivorship. I am truly blessed to share this gift and to be able to come back and see all of the wonderful people who cared for me.”

Upon her diagnosis, Best sought treatment at the Cancer Center at SMMC and The Connie Dwyer Breast Center. While undergoing treatment, she sat on the Cancer Center’s Quality Improvement subcommittee, representing patients and offering input on process improvement. She also attended the SMMC Breast Cancer Support Group which inspired to her to start her own support group at her church.

“Talking to someone who has been through this before makes it easier to relate,” said Best of her support group. “We’re seeing more and more people find the strength to reach out and be proactive in getting the help they need.”

As for her future plans, Best says she plans to continue speaking to those who are undergoing cancer treatment and share her experience, faith and story of survivorship.

To see more photos from Best’s visit to SMMC, please visit

About The Cancer Center at Saint Michael’s Medical Center

Accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS), The Cancer Center at Saint Michael's Medical Center delivers a comprehensive continuum of cancer care that integrates clinical expertise, compassionate care and leading-edge technology and techniques. The team at The Cancer Center treats a wide range of cancer types. From the most common to the more complicated forms or cancer, we create an individualized treatment plan to produce the best outcome possible for each patient.

About Saint Michael’s Medical Center
Established by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in 1867, Saint Michael’s Medical Center is a 357-bed regional tertiary-care, teaching, and research center in the heart of Newark’s business and educational district. Saint Michael’s Medical Center is currently a member of CHE- Trinity Health. More information is available at


Cathy Toscano
Director of Communications
Marketing and Public Relations
Saint Michael’s Medical Center
(O): 973.596.3804 / (C): 973.803.2055