By Carla Zanoni
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Uptown is taking a holistic approach to health this weekend as New York Presbyterian Hospital presents its National Cancer Survivors Day event on Sunday.
You can even experience the Japanese relaxation technique called Reiki or take it all in for a moment with some guided meditation.
Organizers decided to create a "wellness" theme for the event to celebrate and help educate the many cancer survivors and families who have been helped by the hospital over the years.
Eileen Fuentes, 37, a Washington Heights native and breast cancer survivor who works at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, will be attending the event.
A wellness expert and writer, Fuentes will be speaking alongside one of her favorite physicians, Dr. Sharyn Lewin, who truly "embraces integrative therapies," which she said is "uncommon among healthcare practitioners."
Fuentes' foray into the wellness world is a direct result of her experience with cancer, which she said offered her a new life.
"Being a cancer survivor allowed me to experience a rebirth," she wrote in an email, adding that she was in treatment for nine months, the same as a pregnancy. "I feel like I gave birth to my (new) self and as a result I am grateful for every day and every thing."
Beyond changing Fuentes for the better, she said the experience has positively impacted her family, including her three young daughters.
"We're all pretty fearless," she said. "I'm not sure this would be the case had I not gone through the illness."
The event will be held on Sunday, at 173 Fort Washington Avenue, between West 165th Street and 168th Street, at the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center.