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A Parade for Survivors!

Cancer Survivors Day is celebrated annually across the nation on the first Sunday of June, usually with a big party, lots of food, fellowship, hugging and sharing.  Because of COVID-19, this year had to be different – no large enclosed crowds, no hugging and much social distancing.   Consequently, the NEA Baptist Fowler Family Center for Cancer Care saluted cancer survivors with a unique celebratory survivor drive-by parade with socially distanced individuals and small groups providing laughter, balloons, signs, cheers and music.  While it wasn’t the traditional event, it was truly an example of making” lemonade out of lemons”.

When COVID-19 created the need for a new approach, the NEA Baptist team got creative and pulled off a celebration to remember. (Some are calling it the best CSD event ever!)  Our health system staff and community volunteers flocked to the NEA Baptist campus to cheer, salute and celebrate cancer survivors as they paraded through the campus in their cars.  Recorded messages and music, broadcast on three local radio stations, added to the festivities.  Cancer Survivor t-shirts and KFC boxed lunches were given to the survivors as they remained in their vehicles and listen to the recorded program.  Grand Marshals Jama & Wallace Fowler then led the parade through the campus in their 1959 Rolls-Royce.

The message was loud and clear:  COVID-19 couldn’t stop us from demonstrating that we love our cancer survivors and salute them as they continue on their journey.

“Every day is a gift and should be unwrapped and celebrated with gratitude.”