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Stanford Report, July 9, 2003

Magazine marks 20th anniversary

Twenty years after its inception, the medical center-supported magazine Surviving celebrated its own survival with a picnic for patients, staff, and physicians on June 28. The reception featured stories from cancer survivors or their families and patient awards to faculty and staff.

The publication, sponsored by the Department of Radiation Oncology, got its start during a support group for cancer survivors. Pat Fobair, clinical social worker and editor of the magazine, said when the idea for a newsletter first came up she was hesitant. "I remember thinking ‘Great idea, but labor intensive,’ " she recalled. Later, a visiting physician encouraged her to use the newsletter as a way to share stories among cancer survivors.

The collection of stories, poetry and letters by cancer survivors began with a subscription base of former Stanford Hospital cancer patients. Over time, readership grew to include people in all 50 states and internationally.

The anniversary celebration honored the magazine’s history of telling patient stories, but also marked the end of an era — the next issue will be the last print version of Surviving, after which it will only be available online.