During Saturday night’s annual Relay for Life Survivors’ Dinner, Patterson and dozens of other survivors got a chance to take their minds off of their disease and focus on being alive and content.
For Patterson, just knowing that she is not alone is a comfort.
“This makes it easier to cope, knowing that others are facing the same thing,” Patterson commented.
Like many other survivors, Patterson credits her faith in God and her strong friendships as reasons why she is still standing after all this time.
“We are going to find a cure one day,” Patterson said, a triumphant smile spreading across her face.
Clinton resident Peggy Worcester is new to Relay for Life and the Survivors Dinner. However, she is not new to cancer.
“The first time I had cancer was 13 years ago,” said Worcester, who believed that she had moved beyond the disease until she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer just a few weeks ago.
“This time, it has been hard on me,” said Worcester, noting how she is constantly worried that she will not be able to see her grandchildren grow up.
“I just want to find that cure,” she stressed.
Clinton resident Christy Detwiler had just moved to Clinton when she received the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer last December.
“I am a four-month survivor,” she said. However, she said she has not let her hope dwindle one bit, noting that her plan is to join a breast cancer survivor group. The dinner, she said, was just another way of reminding her that she is not in this battle alone.
Detwiler’s husband, Scott, is also quite grateful for Relay for Life and all the functions that support finding a cure for her disease.
“This means that I will get to keep my wife,” Scott stated.
Sisters Peggy Brewington and Jeanette Tew, who were in attendance at Saturday’s now annual event, held each year at the Clinton Family Worship Center, are both battling colon cancer.
Brewington, who is also a breast cancer survivor, finds herself more grateful for being alive when she comes to the dinner, she attested.
“I just thank the good Lord that I can survive all of this,” Brewington stated.
The two sisters said the next generation of their family is also facing the disease. “We have a lot in our family, and we try to get everyone to get checked,” said Tew.
The organizers of the event, Clinton residents Beth Beckwith and Dianne Kornegay, decided to make their theme for the evening “Laughter is the Best Medicine” in hopes that just being there would be a relief to the survivors.
“It helps get their mind off of why they are here,” said Beckwith.
Clinton resident and colon cancer survivor Daisy Herring said she is extremely grateful to be alive today, four years after she was diagnosed, and she is grateful for the time she spends with other survivors.
“The fellowship and friends here is great,” said Herring. She added that she also thinks it is nice that people care enough to have these dinners.
Wilbert Norris, a 13-year colon cancer survivor, said this is fourth time he has been to the Relay for Life Survivor dinner.
“It is just nice to get together with friends,” Norris commented, but he added that he never forgets all that he went through when he was diagnosed several years ago.
“It was really tough on me,” said Norris of the stage four cancer he has battled.
Katie Holland can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 136, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.