JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Every first Sunday in June marks National Cancer Survivor's Day. Sunday was the 25th annual event in Northeast Arkansas. This year's celebration was held at the Hilton Garden Inn on Caraway Road.
Sharon Hill explained what it was like when she first heard she had cancer.
"When you hear the word "cancer" you think, oh, it's the worst thing in the world that could ever happen to me," she said.
But survivors that showed up at the National Cancer Survivor's Day celebration in Jonesboro were a testament to anything but that.
"I myself have survived for more than ten years and I'm just thankful for the care that I received through the NEA Clinic," Sharon said. She's was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001.
Sharon said her sister, Jan was diagnosed in February of 2001 and urged her to go get a mammogram. Sharon said she'd never had a mammogram before. She said she thought she was completely healthy and didn't need one. However, when she went to the doctor in April of 2001, she was diagnosed with cancer.
Now, though, she's able to celebrate life with others who've been down the same road as she has.
"Every year there seems to be more and more people coming because there are more and more survivors," Oncologist, Dr. Carroll Scroggin said regarding Sunday's event.
He said the event not only inspires doctors, but cancer patients and survivors as well.
"They're walking examples of hope that people can get...knowing that cancer can be cured," Dr. Scroggin said.
Sharon said one of the best things about the celebration was listening to other survivors who've shared the ups and downs of cancer, just like her.
"As I look back, I can see now that though it was a terrible experience, but it's been one that I've gone through and come out on the better end of it. It's changed my life for positive," Sharon said.
Sharon told Region 8 News that both she and her sister are living cancer free. She does, however, urge all women to get regular mammograms.