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Pinehurst – Author and stage 4 cancer survivor Jim Morrison found new meaning in his life as a mentor to other survivors, and he shares their stories from cancer’s “front lines” in his just-released book “Cancer: My Rainbow in the Dark.”

Also the author of “See Another Sunshine,” Morrison will talk about his experiences as a survivor/mentor and participate in a book-signing during the 30th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day program at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.

Scheduled for Thursday, June 1, the free event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fair Barn in Pinehurst. Area cancer survivors are invited to attend and bring one guest each to a program that will also include dinner and a photo booth. Those attending are invited to wear their best Kentucky Derby hat for the chance to win a prize.

According to Matt Sherer, MBA, MSHA, administrative director of FirstHealth Cancer Services, the FirstHealth cancer team will join the nation in celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day because of the growing number of cancer survivors.

“This means we are making progress in cancer care,” he says. “In 2004, there were about 10 million cancer survivors in the U.S. It is estimated there are now 15.5 million cancer survivors in the U.S. That’s quite an increase in a relatively short period of time.”

According to Margie Thomas, BSRT, (R) (T), director of Radiation Oncology at Moore Regional, both treatment and detection contribute to this increasing number of cancer survivors.

“Improved treatments are helping people with cancer live longer, and improvements in early detection are allowing doctors to find cancer earlier, when it is easier to treat,” she says. “These factors are especially important given that the number of seniors in the American population and that age is the greatest risk factor for developing cancer.”

Statistics from cancer.net (a website that posts oncologist-approved information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology) indicate that 60 percent of people who have cancer are age 65 or older as are 60 percent of cancer survivors.

FirstHealth’s Sherer says that the FirstHealth cancer care physicians, nurses, pharmacists, techs and others are honored to celebrate Cancer Survivors Day with their patients and their families.

“We are proud to see our survivors and celebrate them and their journey with cancer,” he says. “One of the inspiring quotes I like is ‘I had cancer; cancer never had me.’”

The National Cancer Survivors Day program hosted by FirstHealth of the Carolinas is free to cancer survivors and guests (one to each survivor), but space is limited and registration is required. To register, visit www.NCCancerCare.org or call (800) 213-3284.

 

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