CancerCare Community Celebrates Survivorship
When David B. was recovering from surgery to treat his stage IV colon cancer, he met someone who would define his cancer experience. While walking through the hallways of his hospital, a man asked David how he was moving so quickly, and David responded that he wasn’t sure, as he was not feeling well that day. “I’m not either,” the man replied. “Let’s keep going.”
“This is survivorship,” David said, speaking at CancerCare’s 2nd Annual Survivorship Celebration. “This is why I’m here today.”
CancerCare’s 2nd Annual Survivorship Celebration took place on June 2nd in our New York office, with over 50 former CancerCare clients in attendance, including patients, caregivers and many loved ones. The event provided the opportunity for those affected by cancer who have used CancerCare’s services to meet one another, share their stories and recognize each other’s resilience.
One attendee, Emeta A., came from Brooklyn with a friend to join the celebration after attending last year’s event. A cancer survivor herself, she shared that she was so touched by the stories she heard last year that she began donating $20 a month to the organization that helped her in her own time of need—even while she was still coping with the after-effects of cancer treatment. “My own medication costs went up and I know it’s like that for everybody, so I just try and give back where I can.”
The highlight of the celebration was a series of presentations from patients and caregivers. David spoke about landing his dream job and falling in love in the year after he learned his cancer had spread. “None of us is guaranteed anything,” he shared. “All we have is the moment. Feel it. Live it. Savor it. And when you do that, you might just get some amazing surprises.”
Suriyah Kassim recounted how CancerCare’s support group for young adult caregivers helped her cope when her mom was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. “Coming to CancerCare not only introduced me to some amazing and strong individuals, but helped me realize it’s ok to feel stressed as long as I remember to stay calm and find time in the day to relax. It’s ok to feel guilty on missing out on activities with friends as long as I remember to at least make time to meet them once in a while. And knowing that I have a safe place like CancerCare to come to and discuss my problems and feelings, makes it so much easier to handle it all.”