JPMF and PMC Host Symphony of Hope Concert

Jess Parrish Medical Foundation’s (JPMF) Spirit of Philanthropy network and the Parrish Medical Center (PMC) cancer team hosted the second annual “Symphony of Hope Concert” at PMC on July 28. Three musicians from the Brevard Symphony Orchestra serenaded more than 150 cancer survivors, patients and families who attended the event.

Guests also celebrated the grand opening of the newly renovated Cancer Care Boutique, which was funded through proceeds received from JPMF’s 2010 Masquerade Benefit Ball. Guests had the opportunity to purchase Symphony of Hope “bling” shirts from PMC’s Pink Angel Gift Shop to wear to the event. Additionally, Dianne Jennings, PMC cardio/diagnostic imaging coding and QA specialist, created a beautifully decorated bra, which

The Downtown Gallery framed to become an exquisite piece of art that was auctioned off at the event. “The event was a huge success! All the survivors, patients and families enjoyed the beautiful music and were touched by the personal testimony given by Dawn Cummings, local cancer survivor. The event made them feel special, which is particularly important at this time in their cancer journey,” said Marsha Richardson, PMC oncology program coordinator and breast health navigator.

Located on PMC’s fifth floor, the Cancer Care Boutique provides a pampering environment with the resources to help cancer patients adjust to the social and psychological effects of cancer. The boutique is used to focus on a patient’s self-esteem and well-being by providing wigs, turbans, hats, bras and prostheses. Educational consultations are also given. The boutique is available to patients with all types of cancer, with an emphasis on breast cancer.

“This project demonstrates our benefactors’ commitment to living PMC’s vision of Healing Families—Healing Communities®. We thank them for their generosity and for allowing us to turn this dream into a reality,” said Laurie Smirl, executive director, Jess Parrish Medical Foundation.

Local experts provide resources to help cancer patients receive healing experiences in the boutique. Aja Assad, owner of Aja Salon & Day Spa in Titusville, is an American Cancer Society volunteer who facilitates the Look Good Feel Better program at PMC. “She has volunteered her expertise in cosmetology for many years and is dedicated to improving the lives of those undergoing cancer treatment by offering suggestions and advice to cope with the appearance side effects of chemotherapy and radiation,” said Richardson. 

Betty Thorstenson, licensed orthotic fitter at Sego’s Home Medical Equipment in Titusville, provides her expertise in fitting patients for proper post-breast surgery garments. “She has worked successfully to provide this service to our patients to better prepare them for their recovery,” said Richardson. 

The American Cancer Society provides all the resources for the boutique through community donations. Resources include wigs, turbans, hats, bras and prostheses at no cost to the patients.

“We’d like to thank everyone involved who made this boutique possible and who continue to provide resources and support. It is such an invaluable resource for our community,” said Gloria Velez-Barone, PMC director of service line development.

For more information about the Cancer Care Boutique and the resources available at PMC, contact 321-268-6111, ext. 3544.

About Jess Parrish Medical FoundationThe mission of JPMF is to inspire philanthropy and volunteerism in support of Parrish Medical Center’s mission of healing experiences for everyone all the time. Through staff and volunteers, JPMF raises funds to support healthcare initiatives in North Brevard County. JPMF’s featured projects include Cancer Care, The Children’s Center, the Parrish Health Village and the Center for Lifelong Health. For more information about Jess Parrish Medical Foundation, call 321-269-4066 or visit

About Parrish Medical CenterParrish Medical Center, located at 951 N. Washington Ave., Titusville, Florida, is a 210-bed, not-for-profit public medical center serving North Brevard County for more than 50 years. PMC earned the Gallup Great Workplace Award, the J.D. Power and Associates Distinguished Hospital ProgramSM Award for An Outstanding Inpatient Experience, was named a Modern Healthcare magazine Top 100 Place to Work in Healthcare and a Spirit of Excellence Award Winner. PMC was voted America’s # 1 Healing Hospital three years in a row. The medical center has been awarded nine disease specific certification gold seals from the Joint Commission in acute coronary syndrome, breast cancer, diabetes education, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement, palliative care, stroke and wound healing. For more information, visit

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