Survivors celebrate their battle, thank their caregivers
Published 11:10 am Monday, June 6, 2016
It was an emotional night on Thursday as Relay For Life of Franklin/Southampton hosted its annual survivors dinner. Survivors and caregivers came together to celebrate the battle won and remember those whom they have lost. Caregivers were also acknowledged for all that they do throughout the fight their loved ones go through.
The Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center was decorated with purple and white, along with several items associated with painting, as the theme this year is “Paint your world purple.” Survivors were given white sashes to wear and caregivers were given purple. Balloons were everywhere, along with a paint bucket on each table. There was also a photobooth with a splattered purple and white backdrop and two painters to accompany those getting their pictured taken to tie the theme in then.
Attendees were served a meal from the Nothing Butt Fun catering business, owned by Steve Ivey. They also were able to enjoy music throughout the night from The One Way Band.
Guest speaker for the night was Pat Fenters, a two-time survivor of breast cancer. She gave a speech that not only shared her story, but also gave encouragement to others.
“The scariest thing in my life, that diagnosis of cancer, turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in my life,” Fenters said. “It has taught me so much.”
She continued by talking about how the diagnosis opened her eyes and not only helped her enjoy life more and not take anything for granted, it also made her a more caring person.
“When I am faced with a crisis I do try to find a positive side to it,” she said. “I call it my attitude adjustment.”
Fenters went onto explain both occasions she was diagnosed with cancer and the battles she faced each time. The first time was nearly 20 years ago, but the second was in 2014. However, each time she chose to face it with humor. It not only helped her through it, it helped all her loved ones who went through the journey with her.
“Positive attitude goes a long way,” she said. “It helps with your healing and it makes everyone else feel a lot better.”
Fenters added that all of her support helped get her through both of her battle’s, but she understands that for some, it’s hard to rely on others.
“Give yourself permission to rest on their [your caregivers and loved ones] support,” she added.
Fenters also talked about how others look at you after you have beaten cancer.
She said one struggle that survivors face is only being associated with cancer from now on.
“I’m a cancer survivor, but it’s just a part of my life,” Fenters said. “I’m also a mother and wife, just like everyone else.”
Fenters also let everyone know all the improvements that doctors and cancer researchers are making.
She noted the differences in the medicine, procedures and technology from the first time she was diagnosed with cancer, to the second occasion.
“Things get better every day [in the medical field.] We have good nurses and doctors working out there,” she continued. “I truly believe one day we are going to find a cure for cancer.