Skip to Content

Published on March 24, 2009

Roger Ebert Thrives after Cancer Rehabilitation at RIC

Robert EbertsWriting more movie reviews than ever, Roger Ebert took ABC Ch. 7 back to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago this week to showcase the staff that helped him recover his livelihood after a three-year battle with and recovery from cancer. A special two-part series, the first segment focuses on Roger’s return to his career in the movie industry and aired Sunday evening; the second installment aired Monday evening and demonstrates Roger’s amazing spirit and continued joy of life.  View part one and part two on ABC7's Web site.

The name of the piece is “Roger Ebert’s New Normal,” and in the piece Roger specifically discusses the fact that he has retained the two things most precious to him – his wife and his work – and notes that while he cannot speak, he is still the same person and can do the things he loves.

An inspiration to others fighting cancer and fellow patients at RIC, Roger’s recovery was a triumph of his spirit guided by a specialized team of clinicians. Dr. James Sliwa, Roger’s physician at RIC who oversaw his rehabilitation care, noted, “If there’s such a thing as a poster-boy for cancer rehabilitation, he’s probably it.”

About the RIC Cancer Rehabilitation Program

RIC’s cancer rehabilitation program treats patients across the post acute care continuum, which includes inpatient, day and outpatient rehabilitation. Inpatient and day rehabilitation focus on the initial stages of the treatment process caring for patients with significant functional deficits due to cancer such as brain and spinal cord tumors as well as patients with general debilitation due to cancer treatment.  Outpatient care focuses on high incidence cancers, such as breast and prostate. RIC’s cancer rehabilitation program includes an interdisciplinary team approach to physical medicine and rehabilitation care, including physicians and physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and rehabilitation nurses who work to help patients achieve their personal goals. The program also includes a full complement of services to meet the unique needs of cancer patients, including nutrition counseling, specialized nursing care, psychology, social work, aqua therapy, assistive technology and vocational rehabilitation, as well as close coordination with the acute care oncology team.

About The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is making a difference in the world for people with disabilities. RIC provides world-class care to patients from around the globe for a range of conditions from acute brain and spinal cord injury to chronic arthritis, pain and sports injuries.  RIC, founded in 1954, has been designated the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991 and attributes its leading standard of care in part to its innovative research and discovery, particularly in the areas of bionic medicine, robotics, neural regeneration, pain care and better outcomes. RIC operates its 165-bed, Flagship hospital in downtown Chicago , as well as a network of 30 sites of care located throughout the city and surrounding suburbs that provide additional inpatient care, day rehabilitation and outpatient services. RIC also maintains strategic alliances with leading healthcare providers throughout the state of Illinois and Indiana .