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Survivors invited to celebrate life

 Cancer survivors take part in a Mardi Gras parade around the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center during last year’s Sherri S. James Annual Survivors Banquet.  The annual banquet is one of the opening events the week of the Dallas County Relay for Life. This year’s Survivors Banquet will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Convention Center.File Photo| Times-Journal)

Cancer survivors take part in a Mardi Gras parade around the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center during last year’s Sherri S. James Annual Survivors Banquet. The annual banquet is one of the opening events the week of the Dallas County Relay for Life. This year’s Survivors Banquet will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Convention Center.File Photo| Times-Journal)

Cancer patients, survivors and the general public will have a chance to celebrate life Tuesday evening during the annual Sherri S. James Annual Survivors Banquet.

Held at the Selma Convention Center, the banquet will begin at 6 p.m.

The Sherri S. James annual Survivors Banquet, which is meant to uplift cancer survivors, serves as one of the kickoff events for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

“We just do things to uplift the spirits of those cancer patients who are going through now or have gone through [battling cancer] to let them know they are not going through it alone,” said Tanya Miles, Dallas County Relay for Life chairperson.

There is no admission fee for cancer survivors, but non-cancer survivors must pay $5 to attend. Proceeds from the event will be donated to American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, a global phenomenon where more than 4 million people in more than 20 countries raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer.

According to the organizations’ website, the Relay for Life event will fund cancer research, stay and accommodations at lodges made for cancer patients and their caregivers, a cancer recovery program and other programs modeled after the American Cancer Society’s goal to battle cancer.

At Tuesday’s banquet, guests can celebrate life with a Mardi Gras line dance, coronation and more. Miles said the banquet is a great opportunity for those struggling with the illness to see cancer survivors and realize that they too can successfully battle the disease.

Advances in detection and treatment have led to 13 million plus survivors, according to the American Cancer Society.

Tipton Middle School nurse Bernice Moore, who is breast cancer survivor, understands the importance of supporting the cancer community. Diagnosed a cancer patient in October 2011 and cancer-free now for two months later, Moore said she was a supporter of the relay and survivor banquet before she was diagnosed.

“Now that I am a survivor, it is more dear to my heart, because I know my treatment is because of the work of the American Cancer Society,” Moore said. “My fight now is to try to do what I can to make things event better for someone else and hope that at some point in time we can eradicate it and no one will be going through cancer.”