Sunday was National Cancer Survivors’ Day, a celebration of life for the millions who have won their battle with the horrible disease.
At Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre survivors came together to celebrate their victory over cancer and show those still suffering, that it can be beaten.
It was a procession of sorts of cancer survivors, family and friends.
Many of them had notes in hand that they placed around a freshly planted tree.
This tree symbolizes the life that continues and grows after cancer. Many have learned that first hand.
“I feel great. My cancer was really bad, it was stage three going into stage four so I’m just so lucky, and I’m so thankful every day. I still can’t even believe it’s going to be 14 years for me,” said Terry Swatko of Dallas.
Swatko beat breast cancer. She’s among many celebrating that victory.
“Only cancer survivors can understand what each other has gone through so it’s so important to come and get the camaraderie and get the kind of experience that you can’t really talk about with anybody else other than another cancer survivor,” said Swatko.
There was camaraderie through music, through food, through face painting for the kids, but most importantly through stories from some who beat cancer long ago to others who have only recently been cancer free.
“It’s important that you understand that there is hope. There are other people to talk to, support and it’s really, really difficult to do it by yourself, so go out and get the support,” said Adam Stewart of Swoyersville.
Stewart has been in remission for a little over a year.
“I hope that I can continue the fight through survivor-ship and that other people can do the same. It’s definitely heartwarming to know that other people are going through it and they have fought it and won,” said Stewart.
Physicians were among those at the celebration too. They can also give a lesson of hope, as they see more and more people beat the disease.
“We’re noticing more and more patients are being cured or in a place of remission and this is where they come to celebrate the fact that their cancer has been relatively controlled,” said Dr. Norman Schulman, Radiation Medicine Specialist.
Dr. Schulman and Radiation Medicine Specialists in Forty Fort hosted the survivors’ picnic.