National Cancer Survivors Day
National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual celebration occurring on the first Sunday of June. According to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation (NCSDF), “participants unite in a symbolic event to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful, productive, and even inspiring.”
Dictionary.com defines a survivor as “a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks.” Correspondingly, the NCSDF defines a survivor as “anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.” These definitions show that National Cancer Survivors Day is not limited to those in remission or cured; it’s also for people newly-facing a diagnosis or currently enduring treatments.
Above all else, National Cancer Survivors Day is an observance of the human spirit. It’s a day dedicated to celebrating the people affected by cancer and their strength, resilience, and optimism. As a Fundraising Coach at GiveForward, I have daily opportunities to meet survivors and read their inspiring stories.
“Sherri Strazz is a 50 year old high heel wearing, kayak loving, Johnny Depp adoring cancer survivor.” Sherri battled cancer in the past and enjoyed many years of remission. Earlier this month, a biopsy unfortunately revealed a new cancer diagnosis – she’s again facing chemotherapy and possible radiation treatments. Despite this tragic news, Sherri is embodying the spirit of survivorship. In a quote from her GiveForward page, Sherri encourages us to “begin today with an attitude of gratitude for all of the good things in your life!”
Dory Campagna is another survivor who demonstrates determination and strength. Her brother, Don, beautifully features Dory’s history as a candy striper, comedian, caregiver, and cancer survivor on her GiveForward page. He writes of Dory’s reaction to her Stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma diagnosis, too: ” In true Dory fashion, you knew the destination and made arrangements to get there. It took incredible strength to stand in single digit temperatures to take a taxi to a place where you were strapped to a table and subjected to intense radiation.”
Today, Dory is cancer-free. When he started Dory’s fundraiser, Don told me about National Cancer Survivors Day. If you’re interested in organizing an event in honor of an amazing survivor like Dory or Sherri, you can visit the NCSDF’s site.