Bronxville Couple Celebrate Survivorship Together

Jun 2, 2015

Just months after Sandy Hayes beat her breast cancer and recovered from a double-mastectomy, herhusband, Bob Ward, found out he had a heart complication, kidney stones, and lymphoma. But the Bronxville couple, both in their late 60s at the time, stayed positive throughout both diagnoses and treatments; Sandy walked to almost every treatment at Lawrence Hospital and Bob continued to work his part-time job at a local golf course. He even continued to play golf during treatment, and no one at the club ever suspected he was sick, he said.

“Neither of us ever thought that anything but a good outcome would come of it,” Bob said. “We stayed positive and never thought of the worst.”

Today, two years since Sandy's victory over cancer and one year since Bob's, the two are in excellent health. While they attribute their success to their positive attitude and healthy lifestyle, they are also very grateful to have had a local hospital that offers highly professional, quality cancer care and treatment.

“We are extremely grateful and happy that Sandy made the decision to stay local,” Bob said, after explaining that he was originally against Sandy's insistence to be treated at Lawrence.

Bob, New York City born and raised was adamant that Sandy undergo treatment at a city hospital, believing that was the only option for high-quality care. But Sandy was determined to be able to walk to her treatments, and had confidence in Lawrence.

“I knew driving to the city would cause more stress,” Sandy said. Once she convinced Bob to meet her Lawrence doctor, who is also an assistant professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Bob felt confident Sandy would be well cared for. “We felt we were getting the best of both worlds at Lawrence,” Sandy said.

Bob was very impressed with Sandy's oncology team and with what he learned of the cancer care program. “I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased at the professional care, concern and compassion they demonstrated while dealing with Sandy's cancer.”

When it came time for Bob to embark on his own fight against cancer, he did not think twice about where he wanted to be treated.

“It is hard to say that treatment can be enjoyable, but being treated at Lawrence made the whole experience as enjoyable as it could possibly be,” Bob said.

Bob and Sandy are now cancer-free and continuing to live life to the fullest. Bob still golfs regularly and Sandy is active with NYP/Lawrence's cancer survivor and breast cancer survivor support groups.

“We walked by the hospital every day and were glad we didn't need it. But when we needed it, it was here,” Bob said.

Next year, as NYP/Lawrence Hospital celebrates National Cancer Survivor Day, the new Surgery and Oncology Pavilion will be open and treating more patients like Sandy and Bob, providing them the benefit of quality cancer care close to home.