For the fourth straight year, New York Methodist Hospital (NYM), 506 Sixth Street, hosted the Fred L. Mazzilli Lung Cancer Screening Awareness Day. The growing tradition, held on Thursday, November 3, is a fundraiser and tribute to former Major League Baseball all-star player, manager and coach Lee Mazzilli’s brother Fred, who was diagnosed with lung cancer and died in 2012.
“We’re giving life back,” said Lee, the former New York Met and New York Yankee during the event. “I lost my brother. But working with New York Methodist Hospital, we can change things for others.”
To expand accessibility, the event was also a part of NYM’s Fred L. Mazzilli Free Lung Cancer Screening Program, which provided free, low-dose CT scans for lung cancer screening available for long-time current or former smokers.
According to NYM, attendees were pleased with the beneficial services the event provided.
“I am a smoker, so I wanted to check up on my lungs,” said Dwayne Perryman. “Mazzilli Day was really helpful for me.”
During the afternoon, the Mazzilli family was on hand to present the hospital with a donation of $32,000 to be used by the Free Lung Cancer Screening Program, which topped last year’s contribution.
During last year’s event Dr. Anthony Saleh, who treated Fred before he died, discussed the legacy his patient left behind. “We want to make Fred Mazzilli’s legacy not his death. We want to make his legacy his life to prevent what occurred to him from occurring to others,” he said. “This was the quintessential gentleman who had a giving and caring spirit.”
Saleh also addressed the importance of taking precautions against the disease which affects more than 200,000 people in the country per year. “Lung cancer screening is a serious matter,” he said. “It requires a lot of attention, passion and I request all of you to take your own health into your hands. What we want is a center of excellence which honors Fred’s memory and provides a service for this entire community. We want to be the center of excellence that Brooklyn looks to when it comes to lung cancer.”
According to statistics, those who are considered high-risk include current are former smokers aged 55 to 74 years who have a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years.