Candlelight ceremony celebrates cancer survivors

Candles were lit inside white paper lanterns displaying messages of hope. The lanterns were laid out in the shape of a cancer ribbon outside the Netcare N1 City Hospital’s oncology building.

A candlelit collection of heartfelt messages and words of hope brightened a chilly evening at Netcare N1 City Hospital where staff, doctors and patients came together to celebrate life and commemorate Cancer Survivors Month, as it drew to a close at the end of June.

“A cancer survivor is anyone with a history of cancer, whether you have only just been diagnosed, are currently receiving cancer treatment, are living with cancer as a chronic disease, are in remission or have been declared cancer free,” said Marilyn Lameyer, regional radiation therapy manager for Netcare Western Cape.

“This commemorative ceremony was held in celebration of those who have survived, as well as to honour the people who are no longer with us,” said Ms Lameyer.

“Candles were lit inside white paper bags on which special messages had been hand written. These paper lanterns were then laid out together in front of the hospital’s oncology building in the shape of a cancer ribbon.”

Messages on the white paper lanterns included words of encouragement and inspiration, such as, “Survivors rock – keep your lights shining”, “Cancer is a word, not a sentence. Hold on to hope” and “I am humbled by the courage of cancer survivors”, among others.

“As a central place in the lives of so many people who are battling cancer in the Western Cape, we at Netcare N1 City Hospital cancer care centre see just what it means to be faced with the realities of cancer daily,” said Ms Lameyer.

“Wherever a person may be on their cancer journey, we wish to let them know that we see them, we acknowledge what they are going through and we are here to provide holistic care; treatment and much-needed support for them and their loved ones in their fight for survival,” she said.