On Sunday, June 2, 2013, thousands of people around the world gathered to observe the 26th annual National Cancer Survivors Day. This event is held each year to recognize and honor cancer survivors, who are defined as anyone living with a history of cancer. The celebration is an opportunity for cancer survivors and their families and friends to connect with other survivors and their families and friends. Often, caregivers are involved, as many cancer centers and treatment facilities sponsor, co-sponsor, or participate in these events. There is no set “formula” for a Cancer Survivors Day celebration, so they range from picnics to parades to community fairs.
Most people are familiar with Cancer Survivors Day events in their hometowns and may not know that the National Cancer Survivors Day started in the United States in 1987 and is now celebrated worldwide in Canada, Australia, India, South Africa, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Malaysia. The nonprofit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation provides free guidance, education, and networking support to hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that host National Cancer Survivors Day events in their communities. The Foundation’s primary mission is to bring awareness to the issues of cancer survivorship in order to better the quality of life for cancer survivors. More information can be found at the National Cancer Survivors day website, www.ncsd.org.