"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18
14 million. This is the number of cancer survivors in America today. And the first Sunday in June is the day dedicated to celebrating these people, honoring them for their courage and bringing awareness to the challenges they face. National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD) started in 1987 in America and more recently it has become an annual global event. Canada, Australia, India, South Africa, Greece, Great Britain, Spain, and Nigeria are reportedly some of the other countries that recognize this day.
The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation (NCSDF) defines a cancer survivor as, “anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.” On NCSD these survivors are given an opportunity to share their stories, successes and setbacks with each other. It gives them a venue to recognize the healthcare providers, family and friends who have supported them along the way. Most cancer patients consider receiving the diagnosis of cancer as a death sentence. They picture their future as being rather bleak. However, on NCSD when survivors gather together it sends a message of hope of what life looks like after cancer. It is an opportunity for everyone to connect, to inspire, to be encouraged and to know that they are all in this fight together.
Laura Shipp, a spokesperson for the Foundation says, “Sometimes people have very negative ideas of what life after cancer looks like. But the reality is that more people are living longer and better quality lives after cancer than ever before. These survivors are showing us that life after cancer can be meaningful, exciting, and filled with joy.”
The main goal for the foundation is to increase public awareness, gather more research and funds so that greater advances can be made to combat cancer and to improve the quality of life after cancer.
On NCSD the communities that celebrate this day host a variety of events that include parades, carnivals, walks, inspirational programs, art exhibits, and health fairs. People can get together and celebrate, as survivors are walking testimonials to the resilience of the human spirit.
To be part of this day you can check with any local cancer treatment facility or American Cancer Society Office or checkout ncsd.org.