This coming Sunday, June 6, will mark the 10th annual CNMI Cancer Survivors Day Celebration of Life—the day set aside each year to recognize cancer survivors, raise awareness of the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face because of their disease, and celebrate life.
With nearly 17 million people living with and beyond cancer in the U.S. today—and more than 43 million cancer survivors worldwide—everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by cancer. On Sunday, June 6, 2021, people around the world are coming together to acknowledge these cancer survivors, and to raise awareness of the challenges of cancer survivorship, as part of the 34th annual National Cancer Survivors Day.
Commonwealth Cancer Association executive director Juan L. Babauta defines a “survivor” as anyone living with a history of cancer—from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.
“When people hear the words ‘you have cancer,’ it can be very frightening,” said CCA board vice president Nora Mae S. Fejeran. “But there is hope. Today’s cancer survivors are living longer, better quality lives than ever before. Commonwealth Cancer Survivors Day gives our survivors—and those who support them—a special day each year to celebrate life and to show the world that you can have a good life after a cancer diagnosis
“CCA is also a call to action. Cancer survivors face ongoing, often long-lasting, hardships because of their disease,” Fejeran added. “On Commonwealth Cancer Survivors Day, we want to raise awareness of the many challenges of cancer survivorship and advocate for further research, more resources, and increased public awareness to improve the lives of cancer survivors.”
CCA is encouraging everyone—cancer survivors, caregivers, healthcare professionals, family members, and friends—to join the celebration.
Due to COVID-19, many of the public events scheduled to celebrate CNMI Cancer Survivors Day have been canceled. However, that doesn’t mean that the celebration is canceled. You can connect with cancer survivors and supporters around the islands on Sunday, June 6, by connecting to the CNMI Cancer Survivors Day site on Facebook (Facebook.com/CancerSurvivorsDay), or website, (www.ccamarianas.org).
CCA offers free guidance, education, networking resources, and assistance to the CHCC Oncology Center, and to support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that host official CNMI Cancer Survivors Day celebrations. The CCA mission is to bring awareness to the issues of cancer survivorship in order to better the quality of life for cancer survivors.
As the number of cancer survivors continues to grow, it is becoming ever more important to address the unique needs of this population. In addition to facing a serious illness, cancer survivors must contend with rapidly rising drug costs, inadequate insurance coverage, difficulty finding or keeping employment, and ongoing physical, psychological, and financial struggles that persist even after treatment ends.
In 2003, the CCA began as an alliance of volunteers, becoming formally chartered and incorporated in 2008. In 2009 the CCA achieved a tax-exempt status under 501 (c)(3), and since then has provided direct financial assistance, assistance with nutritional supplements and other personal needs, as well as, certain types of medical equipment such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, and oxygen concentrators prescribed by a locally licensed physicians to qualifying clients in the CNMI who are receiving treatment for cancer.
CCA also facilitates monthly cancer survivors and caregiver support group meetings, engages in a variety of awareness and outreach activities, and has produced various educational publications such as brochures, fliers, videos, and DVDs for our diverse community. Awareness activities and events related to cervical cancer, oral cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung and pancreatic cancer awareness, are just a few of the annual calendar of educational and outreach activities carried out by the CCA.
CCA also engages in programs such as early screening and detection, and patient navigation.
CCA has formed critical partnerships with all seven of the CNMI’s dental clinics, in order to enable free oral cancer screenings for all ages.
For more information, contact CCA at telephone 682-0050 or via email at email@example.com, or visit our website at www.ccamarianas.org. (PR)