Cancer survivors serve as inspiration

Published 11:26 pm Thursday, April 9, 2015

By Jerria Martin
The Selma Times-Journal

Last week I had the honor and pleasure of serving as the mistress of ceremony for the American Cancer Society’s Celebration of Life service held at the convention center.

At first, when considering the great loss my family has experienced from cancer, I was nervous about attending.

Email newsletter signup

However, I must say to the leadership committee of the Relay for Life of Dallas County, that the Celebration of Life service was one of the most beautiful, amazing, and awe-inspiring events I’ve ever attended.

A wise man once told me that you know a star when you see one, you know a hero when you see one, and you surely know a survivor when you see one. I felt honored to be in a room full of stars, an event full of tenacious survivors who overcame their tedious hardships and the heroes that committed their lives to support them. It moved me to see members of the community working together to honor our stars. Trustmark Bank, Delta Gems, Selma Times-Journal, and other Relay for Life members sent volunteers to help serve in several capacities.

The mood was light and fun as comedian Neckbone blessed us with the gift of laughter and the young ladies, Kairy and Sara Crum shared songs of encouragement. The survivors cheerfully pranced down the purple carpet with great delight and received awesome door prizes, pendants, and t-shirts. The live band was spectacular and filled the room with funky and harmonious music, the STJ paparazi were flashing; Hollywood came to Selma and our stars were honored in the most elegant and profound way. Spirits were lifted, hearts were touched and I felt so proud.

Once again I was reminded that when Selma unites in the name of love, great and amazing things happen.

I couldn’t help but think of Gloria Gaynors’ lyrics: “Did you think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d lay down and die? Oh no, not I, I will survive.

As long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive. Cause I got all my life to live and I got all my love to give. I will survive!”

We must remember this Holy Week that those we’ve lost along the way to cancer may have lost the battle, but Jesus won their victory some 2,000 years ago when he gave the greatest sacrifice, in the name of love! Thus, we as believers are all survivors.

When we consider our history Selma is most definitely a survivor. As long as we know how to love we will stay alive. So when times are tough, when the odds are against us, no we won’t crumble, we most definitely won’t lay down and die…we will survive!

So lift your head, open your hearts, roll up your sleeves and press on!

Because there is unstoppable, precious, and prosperous hope in survivors!