Local cancer survivors celebrated on National Cancer Survivors Day

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Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 1:24 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Lake Charles Memorial Hospital is celebrating survivors with its annual National Cancer Survivors Day event.

Survivors and some of their loved ones got to spend the afternoon together meeting with other survivors in the area.

“The journey was rough, but with loving friends and family, my doctors and nurses, I made it through and I’m a 2-year now cancer survivor,” Joyce Lute said.

Colon cancer survivor Joyce Lute said she enjoys being around other people who have been through what she’s gone through.

“And we inspire each other, motivate each other, it helps us keep going and I love coming to functions like this,” Lute said.

“They really enjoy seeing other survivors. It’s very uplifting,” Dr. Michael Bergeron said. “It’s a positive atmosphere and it gives them more hope to preserve.”

Bergeron is an oncologist at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, working closely with patients to help navigate cancer.

He said treatment can be a long and difficult process for many.

“There’s definitely ups and downs as they go through the journey, but the key thing is to know that more and more people are surviving cancer as we make progress,” Bergeron said.

Organizers said the event is a chance to celebrate the survivor’s victories.

“We’re very excited to say that this event has doubled in size and we know that in the coming years, it’s going to continue to grow,” director Sol Halliburton said.

Halliburton is the executive director of The Foundation, the hospital’s non-profit organization that raised funds to put on this celebration for cancer survivors, in addition to other needs memorial cancer patients may have.

“Lodging, transportation, nutrition, wigs and prosthesis and many other areas that patients would need when they go through their journey,” Halliburton said.

A journey that requires a lot of support.

“And there’s no reason to give up, there are all sorts of health care professionals who are out there wanting to fight the battle with them,” Bergeron said.

For those who are currently diagnosed with cancer, Lute said to hold on to your faith and hold onto hope.

“Survivors can inspire people to let them know that if I can do it, they can do it,” Lute said.

Worldwide, there are 43 million cancer survivors, and nearly 17 million people are living with cancer in the U.S. today.