June 5, 2016 Marks National Cancer Survivors Day
The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation organizes an annual event that provides guidance, education and networking opportunities to survivors and those currently battling all forms of cancer. This year, June 5th marks National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD).
A simple mission with a greater cause, NCSD serves as a “celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families and an outreach to the community.” This annual day is meant to bring together current survivors, estimated to number 14.5 million by the American Cancer Society, and those on their journey towards remission.
From local organizations to hospitals, groups of all sizes host NCSD-related events in their communities, from parades and carnivals to art exhibitions and contests. These celebrations bring attention to both the day and its significance. Since 1988, national events have garnered high profile participation including a commencement speech from President George W. Bush. Past events include a fun-filled day at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens featuring inspirational stories, a parade featuring survivors during the Central Point Rodeo in Medford, Oregon, and a monarch butterfly release in Oklahoma City hosted by the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute.
So what can you do in your community to support National Cancer Survivors Day?
- Ronald McDonald Houses operate with two goals: to reduce the stress and financial burden on families with children currently undergoing treatment at nearby hospitals, including many cancer patients, and to establish a support network. Volunteering options are numerous, from a two hour weekly or biweekly shift for individual volunteers, to family activity nights or meal programs put together by group volunteers. (http://www.rmhc.org/chapter-search)
- Off-site opportunities with the Ronald McDonald Houses include the Pop Tab collection program and the Wish List Drive, to fill the houses with items that make the houses truly feel like homes.
- Consider training for races held by the Susan G. Komen foundation. Distance options range from 3-Day 60 mile walks to 5k Races for the Cure. (http://ww5.komen.org/findarace.aspx)
- The American Cancer Society, with locations nationwide, has a wide-ranging number of options to pick from, including the Look Good Feel Better program—created to improve self-image and appearance through complimentary beauty sessions—to the Road to Recovery program, in which volunteers drive patients to and from treatment, or help coordinate treatment. (www.cancer.org/involved/volunteer)