By: Sharon Aron Baron
A Tamarac Resident has been recognized as Holy Cross Hospital’s 2016 Cancer Survivor of the Year.
Francis “Ozzie” Osiecki, 70, has just been honored at the Fort Lauderdale hospital’s annual Celebration of Life Party, which was attended by approximately 175 cancer survivors, their caregivers, staff and committee members.
Osiecki, who has been living with stage-four colon cancer since 2011, is being treated at the Holy Cross Bienes Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Ozzie has not only shown resilience and courage in times of great adversity, but also has maintained a positive attitude as well,” said Kathy McTague, a nurse at Holy Cross.
The Celebration of Life party is one of the hospital’s paramount initiatives dedicated to honoring cancer survivors. This year’s event was especially significant as it was held on the 29th annual National Cancer Survivors Day.
The National Cancer Institute reports that the number of cancer survivors has risen from 7 million in 1992 to 15.5 million in 2016. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be more than 20 million cancer survivors. While cancer survivors currently account for 2.5 percent of the U.S. population, it is estimated that by 2026, they will represent 5 percent, an enormous accomplishment in overcoming the disease.
Said McTague, “I find Ozzie to be an inspiration to others, especially to those who are facing their own battles with cancer.”