NEW YORK, Aug. 10 Complete with its custom-designed RoboticOncology and Beat Prostate Cancer sail, the Tripp 41 RoboticOncology boat finished New York Yacht Club's seventh biennial Race Week regatta with five wins and one fifth-place finish in six races. Led by Steve Benjamin of South Norwalk, Connecticut and his team won the Rolex US-IRC National Championship Class 3 and finished in second place overall. His proud robotic surgeon and prostate cancer treatment specialist, Dr. David B. Samadi, was there to cheer on Benjamin and his team. Dr. Samadi is Chief of the Division of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery in the Department of Urology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.
(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100810/NY48843 )
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100810/NY48843 )
In honor of Dr. Samadi, Benjamin re-named his boat, previously known as High Noon, to RoboticOncology, as part of a promise he made to Dr. Samadi and his life-saving skills. Benjamin underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer six months previously with Samadi. "I made him a promise that if he could cure me, then I would take him sailing," recalled Benjamin, "With the RoboticOncology campaign, I saw the possibility to help raise awareness of prostate cancer, and to let everyone know that the disease can be overcome."
Benjamin competed in the 190-mile race with a goal of winning the title. The RoboticOncology boat just barely missed the win at the Rolex US-IRC Nationals, held July 21-24 during New York Yacht Club Race Week, sponsored by Rolex, by less than five seconds. However, the vessel and sailing team won an overall second-place finish as well as a class win. However, the real victory for both Dr. Samadi and Benjamin was just returning to sailing.
Said Dr. Samadi, "Anybody would be surprised to see a person who underwent prostate surgery six months ago out sailing, but anything can be accomplished with good treatment and a positive attitude like Benjamin." Benjamin agreed that his positive thinking as well as his decision to opt for robotic rather than "open" surgery, where the recovery time is lessened, positively affected his health and sailing future.
"There is no doubt that the personal spirit and positive thinking combined with a good surgeon and a great technique is going to come out on top," said Dr. Samadi. He has successfully performed over 3,000 surgeries and views robotic prostate surgery is not just about the technology of robotics, but the experience of the surgeon that counts. "It's just a very experienced sailor, who is in charge of the boat. The boat is but one part of the race," said Samadi, watched the race and was very impressed with his patient's racing skills.
"Benjamin worked with his team the same way I do with robotic surgery," said Dr. Samadi, "For me, prostate cancer is very personal, and I always want to win and give the patient a better quality of life, free of cancer." For Samadi, his win comes in the form of saving lives for his patients and returning them to their families. "I perform the entire surgery from beginning to end, and I'm happy to say that today there are 3,000 friends and families that are living happy lives, thanks to me and my robotic surgery team at Mount Sinai," said Samadi.