There’s an epidemic in the world today, one that seeps into every level of the social strata. Education is no protection and nor is wealth. While there are ways to reduce the possibility that a person will be one of the almost 2 million people per year that are affected by it, the causes of this plague are only poorly understood. Every year 450 men and women out of every 100,000 are diagnosed with one of the dozens of kinds of cancer, and 171 men and women die from it.
Many survivors go on to fulfill their dreams and find joy and happiness once again. Cancer Survivor Day is for those who have faced off against this most dread of ailments and risen again to live full, happy lives. It’s a time for people with similar stories and experiences to come together and celebrate their strength and perseverance. It’s no easy feat and a milestone to be recognized and appreciated. It’s the idea that there’s not only hope for a brighter future but to demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality.
History of Cancer Survivor’s Day
Cancer Survivor Day was established to recognize and celebrate those who have battled cancer and won, and to help bring hope to those still battling this terrible disease. So who is considered a cancer survivor? The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a survivor as anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. While the numbers above sound terrible, there is more hope than they imply, in the US alone, there are 14.5 million people who have beat or are living with cancer and 32 million around the world. The numbers reflect great success, and the survival rate gets higher with every passing year.
Cancer hangs over most people’s minds and hearts as a death sentence, and the reaction in saying someone you know has it is palpable. But both those who have cancer and their families need to know that it is far from helpless. Treatment is getting more effective, and there are groups around the world that get together to help the cancer patient and their families make it through the very long and hard road that is treatment and recovery.
Cancer Survivor Day is also dedicated to helping to raise funds and awareness for cancer research and treatment. The fight isn’t over and, in fact, it’s just heating up, and cancer is in the cross-hairs. With the efforts of organizations like National Cancer Survivor’s Day Foundation and the American Cancer Association, a cure for cancer is just around the corner.
Not only is it a day for thousands to gather to celebrate those who have survived, but it’s a chance to inspire those with a recent diagnosis that it is possible to overcome and beat cancer. Consider it a way to offer support for survivors and family and people everywhere who have been or continue to be impacted by this life-altering disease.
How to Celebrate Cancer Survivor’s Day
Beating cancer is certainly a milestone to celebrate and a reason to bring loved ones together. There are many ways to draw attention to cancer and those fighting through it and who are now living rewarding and inspiring lives. It’s an opportunity to connect with others over a common enemy and bring attention to the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship and also highlight the reasons to be happy and joyful. There may be both tears of sadness and delight when interacting and celebrating with a survivor.
The best way to celebrate Cancer Survivor’s Day is to get out and help with the organization’s activities to raise funds and help awareness. One can do this by attending events all over the country and the world. In the local area, a person may find a gathering in a local part where food and entertainment are provided, and a special ceremony honoring cancer survivors is held. As someone who may know a cancer survivor, take some time today to bring them to an event and congratulate them on surviving, and bringing hope to other people living with cancer everywhere.
There are additional ways to honor a cancer survivor on Cancer Survivor’s Day. For example, one can mail a greeting card with words of encouragement and appreciation. Imagine being a survivor and opening the mail to a special message from a loved one. Besides sending a card, a person may want to pick up the phone and wish someone well and acknowledge all they’ve been through. Also, one can celebrate a survivor by asking him or her to lunch or coffee, giving a small gift of appreciation, or throwing an impromptu party with other survivors or close friends and family members.
If you happen to be a cancer survivor yourself, then you may want to gather other survivors from a support group or that you know and congratulate one another. Let this be a time to rejoice in the shared experience and to support each person in this next stage of life.
Education is another way to celebrate and enlighten oneself in the journey to learning more about cancer. There are resources available, people to talk to, and research to review that will help a person to understand better the complexity of cancer and what it’s like to survive it.
The goal is to come together to recognize that while it wasn’t an easy road, the survivor is now living his or her life to the fullest. They have overcome the illness or disease and can now truly celebrate the freedom that being cancer free brings.