LIMA — Over 50 breast cancer survivors gathered to celebrate journey and survival at Lima Memorial Health System’s 22nd annual Hope Garden Ceremony Thursday at Lima Memorial Medical Park.
“We have some folks who are from the original event, and we use it as an opportunity to share stories,” said Jed Blake, Lima Memorial Health System chaplain. “Ladies have been through things that are unique like and they don’t really have a safe place where they can swap those stories, but here they can do that.”
Joann Baker, of Elida, who has been cancer free for one year, was one of the breast cancer survivors who attended.
“Today’s event reminded me of all the things I went through,” said Baker. “It was nice to see all the girls and so great to be here. God has been very good to me, and I am very grateful to him.”
Blake spoke of his 7-year-old nephew, who is also a cancer survivor, as inspirational. The six characteristics he learned from his nephew and other survivors are courage, honesty, endurance, hope, faith and love.
“They have exhibited these characteristics and have inspire me to not give up hope,” said Blake. “I hope they inspire others to lead by example and hold to those characteristics.”
Blake said cancer survivors are courageous because despite their worries they still face their fears. They are honest about their illness by being truthful even when is not convenient.
“So many times when we are hurting, it is easy for us to lash out,” said Blake. “But the honesty and truthfulness that comes with that causes us to take second thoughts and be truthful about the fight we are facing.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews