National Cancer Survivor's Day is the first Sunday of June. We know a lot of you have a lot to celebrate. We talked with one cancer survivor who is used to being in the public eye, but he never thought he'd be talking about this.
Jim Woster rarely sits still. If he's not working in the yard, he's volunteering to emcee an event, or load a truck with supplies that he'll drive to Lower Brule. He's always out and about doing something for the good of the cause. Except one day in October of 2007 he was forced to take pause after he learned something bad had invaded his body
Woster says, "I knew immediately my life was going to change."
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer still in it's early stages. He went on to have a robotic assisted prostatectomy at Avera McKennan.
Woster says, "It's interesting the emotional reaction a person has and let's face it prostate cancer, if dealt with like we dealt with it, it's like having your tonsils removed. Once you accept the fact what you are dealing with it gets easier, but it's a hard few days when you hear the words that you have cancer."
Woster is one of 21 million people in the world to claim victory over cancer. A fight few take lightly. That's why the Avera Cancer Institute hosts a Cancer Survivor's Day Celebration every year.
Julie Dixen is the Avera Outpatient Cancer Program Manager: She says, "It's the 11th year we've held a picnic and celebration to honor patients and their families and the staff that works with them. We really want to acknowledge the struggles they've gone through and their successes and to get together in a fun festive environment."
Woster says, "I've emceed the event here in Sioux Falls for 7 or 8 years and I see so many people, a special group of people. I remember the first year I was out there, you know, here I am, I'm going to be fine and I see this 30 year old mom with little kids in the middle of her battle with breast cancer not knowing the outcome and it brings tears to my eyes. The little bit that I know about dealing with cancer and I look at her and say dear Lord, let her be better."
My friend Jim Woster is like that, thinking of others before himself, but we want all you who have fought and survived cancer to know that we are thinking of you and applaud your amazing strength.
Avera invites you to their 11th Annual Cancer Survivor's Day Picnic and Celebration. It's Sunday June 7th at Sertoma Park in Sioux Falls from Noon to 1:30. No registration required and it's free.