Arkansas hospitals celebrate cancer survivors

Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 8:52 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 4, 2023 at 10:54 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Cancer survivors across northeast Arkansas were celebrated in Jonesboro on Sunday.

NEA Baptist and St. Bernards each celebrated cancer survivors on National Cancer Survivors Day.

The National Cancer Survivors Day website says there are 18 million cancer survivors, like Jerry Jett, in America.

“A shock, I mean, I had tests, and they told me I might have a problem, but then they did the biopsy, and they found it,” he said.

He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006. He, along with other survivors, came to both celebrations.

Each survivor had a unique story.

Margaret Love said she was sick and would continuously pass out. She didn’t know cancer was the reason for it.

“I never imagined going through cancer like this, but hey, I know I gotta do it anyhow, do the treatments. I didn’t hesitate,” she said.

Sherida Johnson found out she had breast cancer just two days after her 38th birthday, just two years before women are recommended to start getting mammograms.

Treatment can be a difficult process.

“You just have to trust your doctors and, you know, just have a positive mindset to be able to go through, you know, because if you start to feel negative and have a negative mindset, that’s when things tend to go down,” she said.

Each celebration brought family, friends, caregivers, and doctors.

“You need that support system whether they’re cooking, helping you watch the kids, or just holding your hair back when you’re sick, so it’s very important,” said Johnson.

The journey doesn’t stop when the cancer goes away; it changes many people, from becoming advocates like Jett.

“I try to help and get attention and so on to get men to be checked,” he said.

Or to change their outlook on life.

“I said that I was going to find something positive out of every negative situation. When you do that, you find the positive in the bad situations. You’ll be able to smile about something,” said Johnson.