Sunday June 6th is National Cancer Survivor Day and the Avera Cancer Institute is throwing a picnic at Sertoma Park in Sioux Falls to celebrate the lives of current patients, survivors and their loved ones. We introduce you to an inspirational couple from Sioux Falls who are proud to attend their first Survivor's Day Celebration.
Bill and Nancy Olson from Sioux Falls are high school sweethearts who have not only been together a long time, they've been through a lot together. In February of 2009 they both were diagnosed with cancer; Bill prostate cancer, Nancy breast cancer at the exact same time.
Bill says, "It sounds kind of funny but in a way it was good because you weren't focused on yourself because you were concerned about the other."
Nancy and Bill didn't take their cancer diagnosis sitting down, they got up, got moving and got healthy.
Nancy says, "We started walking. We thought, what can we do to help this process along to stay as healthy as we can during a time when we are having dramatic, drastic treatments? We looked at our life and knew we needed to get more physically active. We also changed our eating habits. We tried to do what we could while the doctors were doing what they could."
They are both proud to say they have been cancer free for more than a year and are looking forward to Avera's Cancer Survivor Day Celebration.
Julie Dixen with the Avera Cancer Institute says, "There are so many things that happen in the daily lives of our patients so to be able to come out and say hey I've really accomplished something by this cancer experience is really valuable."
Nancy says, "It's a feeling of real celebration, thankfulness and concern for those who are just entering this journey. People say how was it? Both of us agree, it was do-able because of the support of lots of people, family, friends, church and a fantastic medical staff. It takes a village to get through it."
The Olson's will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary this November, a huge milestone they were bound and determined to make during their battle with cancer. I asked them if they any words of wisdom on either journey and they said it has served them well to have faith, hope, a positive attitude and be glad for today.
Avera Cancer Survivor Day Celebration
Sunday June 6
Catered by Tony's Catering
Sioux Falls Sertoma Park