DECATUR– June is National Cancer Survivors Month nationwide and since 1988 one of the largest cancer survivor celebration dinners has been held right here in Decatur.
Over 1200 survivors from across the Midwest and central Illinois attended the 28th annual event at the Decatur Conference Center and hotel on Tuesday evening.
Attendee, and prostate cancer survivor since 1997, Robert Jelks said the dinner and celebration of life was one of the highlights of his year, “I come back every year because I like the celebration, I like being around people who have been through so much and still continued to fight and are still living every single day.”
Dr. James Lloyd Wade, the president of Cancer Care Specialists of Central Illinois was the keynote speaker at the event and spoke often about the importance of hope, “I’ve been doing this for 31 years and while we have seen technological advances and scientific advances in the medical fields, I can honestly say that hope and faith are two of the biggest factors in all of these people surviving.”
“Tonight is a party to honor the hundreds of survivors here tonight and the many thousands of survivors world-wide, this is their night and we cannot be more happy for them.”
The event is held in partnership between St Mary’s Hospital, Decatur Memorial Hospital and the Cancer Care Specialists of Central Illinois.
“I’m going to keep on going, and I will continue to go as long as I can and I plan to help and talk to as many people as I can before I’m done” Jelks added. “I will be back next year, you can count on that.”