Cancer Survivors Gather To Celebrate Life

Balloons and other decorations filled the McGinty Civic Center in honor of something that cannot be taken for granted - life.

"I'm proud to be here because I've survived 31 years. I've had non-Hodgkins Lymphoma," said cancer survivor Joan Jenkins.

Ms. Jenkins' story is like many of the others who have gathered here - a story of pain and ultimately triumph.

"You don't never feel good when they tell you got cancer. That's a word you don't want to hear. But God's been with me and I'm a miracle," said Jenkins.

The celebration, sponsored by Singing River Hospital System and the Regional Cancer Center, is one of nearly seven hundred programs planned around the world this weekend.

For 17 years, this day has been set aside to honor each of the "miracles" who show all of us that life can exist after cancer.

"They discuss their treatments. They encourage each other. They let them know what they have to face, what is going to happen from one step to the other, and we can't do that for them The ones of us that have not gone through this. So days like this , you know, gives them the opportunity to do that," said Cancer Registry coordinator Trudy Davis.

And former Moss Point mayor Ira Polk, who is a survivor of prostate cancer, says there is a key to cancer survival.

"Always pay attention and get the checkup. Because the best cure for that disease is early detection," said Polk.

And hopefully this "key" will allow more new survivors to join the celebration next year.

Cancer survivors and supporters will have another opportunity to celebrate at the Relay for Life of Pascagoula/Jackson County.

The event will be held on August 20 at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.