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Luncheon celebrates local cancer survivors

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UNC Cancer Care at Nash team members pose for a photo Friday during the National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration at the Danny Talbott Cancer Center.

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From Staff Reports

Saturday, June 2, 2018

UNC Cancer Care sponsored a National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration for local cancer survivors Friday at the new Danny Talbott Cancer Center on the campus of Nash UNC Health Care.

A live DJ spun upbeat music while attendees and their guests mingled with each other and Nash UNC Health Care staff and Pet Therapy program dogs.

Sterling Grimes, director of Cancer Services at Nash UNC Health Care, welcomed the guests before they were treated to lunch.

“We’re glad to have so many people here today. We have had many luncheons for National Cancer Survivors Day in the past, but this is our first at the new Danny Talbott Cancer Center and we could not be more excited about how many people are in attendance today,” she said.

Messages of strength, courage and hope echoed throughout the celebration. As guests finished lunch, local cancer survivor Virgie Wilson shared her personal story of hope and survivorship and some advice for dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

“You have to find something to smile about and laugh at to keep you going,” she said. “I kept smiling and I kept going, just like most of you here today have done.”

Senika Nicole Cofield, the 2017 winner of “Carolina Idol,” performed two uplifting songs in honor of those affected by cancer.

Survivors also participated in a unique meet-and-greet activity that helped them learn more about cancer awareness. For the activity, Nash UNC Health Care staff members wore buttons with a ribbon that represented a specific type of cancer awareness. Guests searched to find different colored ribbons on the buttons, meeting several staff members along the way. Each staff member then explained what specific cancer awareness their color ribbon represented. Participating in the activity entered guests into a drawing for various door prizes.

“Our Cancer Survivors Day Celebration is a special time to rally around those who have survived cancer while motivating those who are currently under treatment. This event is a celebration of hope,” Grimes said. “It is also our time to celebrate their caregivers for the care and support they provide during and after treatment, while also showing this community the comprehensive cancer care and incredible team of support we have right here at Nash UNC.”

Attendees also got the chance to learn more about Nash UNC Health Care’s comprehensive cancer care by taking a tour of the new facility and meeting some of the UNC Cancer Care at Nash team members.

“This is a lovely facility filled with great doctors and nurses,” cancer survivor Minnie L. Johnson said. “The staff here is wonderful, and they treat you with great care.”

Between 500 and 600 patients are diagnosed with cancer or receive treatment for cancer at UNC Cancer Care at Nash each year. Of those, 20 percent or more need some level of financial assistance for their treatment.

To help with this burden, the Nash UNC Health Care Foundation manages a Cancer Patient Assistance fund to help patients in need. To donate to the fund, visit www.nashhealthcarefoundation.org or contact Stacy Jesso at 252-962-8584.

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