With nearly 17 million people living with and beyond cancer in the United States today, almost everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer.

Today we are celebrating those survivors – from those who have just started treatment to those who have been in remission for years and everyone in between.

As part of this, we wanted to show you some of the beautiful faces and words from our participants, who demonstrate every day that community is stronger than cancer:

 

Cancer didn’t define my life. Cancer empowered me to appreciate my world. To love more deeply, smile more often, and breathe life into every moment of everyday. Today is is first day of the rest of my life. Shout from the top of the world! I AM A SURVIVOR! – Heidi

Believe the diagnosis but not the prognosis. – Sandi

You are not in this alone. Reach out and receive the love, help, and support of your community. Trust in yourself and in your medical team. We are all here for you. – Patricia

There is so much love and beauty in our community. – Scott

My broken heart was quickly filled back up with love from countless people, some of whom I had not spoken to since I was a little girl or grade school or college, and some who have been with me my entire life. – Rachel

Soon after I was diagnosed, I bought a sign that said: “I Can. I Will. End of Story.” I hung it across from my bed. It was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. It became my mantra. – Elyse

Celebrate everything. I celebrated scrambling eggs. I celebrated dragging a heavy garden hose and keeping my garden alive. – Starla

Family and friends can be so important, and we often leave them out thinking we are helping or protecting them. They need to know what is going on and be allowed in to share. – Rich

Humor helps with healing – no lie. – Cindy

Remember, regardless of all the bad statistics you might be hearing, you’ve been healthy your whole life and your body wants that again. – Cory

On this Survivors Day, CSCAZ is launching a peer program to help our newly diagnosed participants with navigating their cancer journey. Our support groups, social events and workshops are designed to ensure that no-one has to face cancer alone. Sometimes, however, navigating the cancer journey requires one-on-one support from someone who cares because they’ve been there. That’s where the peer mentorship program comes in, offering newly diagnosed participants the chance to be matched with a trained mentor who understands what they are going through on a very personal level. For the mentors, this program is an opportunity to give back to our statewide cancer community. 

If you would like to learn more about becoming a peer mentor, click here.

If you have been newly diagnosed and would like to learn more about being partnered with a mentor, click here: