Cancer Survivors Day
promotes laughter,

Published 1:38 am Saturday, June 13, 2009

By Staff
Despite medical advancements over the years, cancer remains a frightening, life-altering and potentially deadly disease.
Those who now have, or have had, the disease in any of its forms know the mental and physical anguish they and others have endured.
Some cancer patients, though, fight the illness alone and without family or friends to support them. Under these circumstances, they can easily lose the hope for survival that in some cases sustains their existence.
And that’s why events such as Sunday’s 2009 Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center Survivors Day are so important. At least 100 local cancer survivors are expected to attend the function and be treated to an afternoon of laughter with humorist Dave Caperton.
Laughter and camaraderie, that’s the point.
For many with the disease, a healthy dose of laughter is just what the doctor ordered. Equally important is the chance for people to meet others with similar experiences, bond and perhaps establish close, nurturing relationships.
At times, we all need people to lean on. For cancer survivors — many of whom have watched friends and relatives die of the disease — the support is critical.
In addition, some cancer patients find people are reluctant to speak to them about their disease. Don’t be. Some survivors really want to talk about their challenges, and a good set of ears and an empathetic attitude can be wonderful therapy.
So, for those of you planning to attend Sunday’s Cancer Survivors Day, have a hearty laugh and make some new friends.
The 2009 Marion L. Shepard Cancer Survivors Day is from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at First Church of Christ, 520 E. 10th St. in Washington. For more information, call 252-975-4308.