05/02/04 — Crowd of 500 expected at Cancer Survivor's Banquet

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Crowd of 500 expected at Cancer Survivor's Banquet

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on May 2, 2004 8:13 AM

Cancer survivors will be treated to food, fellowship and fun May 13 at the 11th annual Cancer Survivor's Banquet.

It will start at 6 p.m. at First Pentecostal Holiness Church. Sunburst Foods will provide a light meal. Entertainment will be by the Charles B. Aycock Alumni Singers.

Sherl Sauls, a cancer survivor, will talk about her experiences. Jimmie Ford will be the master of ceremonies. He, too, is a cancer survivor.

During the banquet, cancer survivors will receive a T-shirt. Those attending may also register for the cancer survivor lap at the Relay for Life to be held May 14 at 6 p.m. at Eastern Wayne High School.

Door prizes donated by local businesses will be given out during the banquet. It will end with a special song, "One Moment In Time" by one of the Aycock Singers.

The Cancer Survivor's Banquet is a celebration of life, said Helen Harwood, chairman of the event. It's the most uplifting thing to see so many cancer survivors in one place, she said.

Cliff Harwood, co-chairman, said the survivor's banquet started with a fund from the Reach Foundation. This year's sponsors are Southeastern Medical Oncology Center and Wayne Radiation Oncology.

"We are expecting about 500 people this year," Harwood said.

Mrs. Harwood said she has heard nothing but positive comments from those attending past cancer survivor banquets. "They can't hardly wait to come back next year because it's so uplifting," she said. "They say they wouldn't miss it for the world."

The free banquet is being held for all cancer survivors and their significant other or caregiver, and no reservations are required.

Harwood noted that in the United States there are two new cases of cancer diagnosed every minute, and someone dies from cancer every minute.

"One out of two men will have cancer in their lifetime," he said. "One out of three women will have cancer in their lifetime."

But there is good news. Harwood said that in 1940 the survival rate for cancer was 25 percent. Today it is 63 percent.

"That rate has increased dramatically over the years because of research and because of the work that the American Cancer Society is doing in educating people about cancer and addressing cancer issues through advocacy and support programs."