Cancer survivors celebrate National Cancer Survivor Day

Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - On Friday, cancer survivors all across the Tri-State area celebrated National Cancer Survivor Day at Blessing Hospital.

Jim Waterkotte is one of those survivors. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019

It wasn’t until recently that it worsened, forcing Waterkotte to undergo radiation therapy. After 39 treatments Waterkotte can now say he is a survivor.

“Today is actually my survivor day because I had my final treatment today,” Waterkotte said.

Waterkotte lost his wife to cancer over 20 years ago, and a daughter to cancer in 2019.

Radiation Oncology Physician and Waterkotte’s Doctor Robert Johnson said that it’s the spirit of the survivor that makes the day so special. Johnson maintains the positive message for cancer patients to keep their head up.

“When you’ve been diagnosed with a dyer illness, each day is important,” Johnson said. “Each day is a new day and we celebrate with them. We finish their treatment and celebrate with them.”

Blessing Hospital has celebrated National Cancer Survivor Day for over fifteen years, but this is the second year there was a parade.

Administrative Director of Cancer Center and Surgical Services Lorri Wilkey says that it’s important to give survivors a chance to celebrate together.

“It’s a wonderful event that we can bring our patients together,” Wilkey said. “Really more than anything interact with us outside of treatment room.”

The American Cancer Society recommends screenings for cancer. More information about cancer screenings is available here.

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