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June 5, 2006

Cancer Survivors' Day shows there's life after cancer

U-M hosts special event June 11 as part of national celebration

ANN ARBOR, MI – Whether it’s running a marathon or working in a garden, physical activity is important in the life of any cancer survivor. So get moving and come to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 12th annual National Cancer Survivors’ Day event on June 11.

Survivor Day 06With a theme of Energize Your Life: Get Movin’, this year’s event will include interactive information stations focusing on golf, gardening, tai chi and other activities. Motivational speaker Judy Pickett will share her experience as a runner and cancer survivor, encouraging all to live those “somedays ” today.

Pickett, a breast cancer survivor, has made it her goal to run 100 races benefiting breast cancer research. She will run in the Detroit Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure event June 10.

“I have had breast cancer three times, but I’m still here, and I’m still running, and I’m still active, and I’m still living. That’s the message I hope I can convey,” says Pickett, a former teacher from the Sacramento, Calif., area.

National Cancer Survivors’ Day began 19 years ago as a way to show that a cancer diagnosis is not an automatic death sentence. The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship defines a cancer survivor as anyone living with a history of cancer, from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. There are 10 million cancer survivors in the United States. More than 700 communities throughout the country will hold events as part of National Cancer Survivors’ Day.

“Major advances in cancer prevention, early detection and treatment have resulted in more people surviving cancer. But a cancer diagnosis can leave other problems in its wake. Physical, financial and emotional issues can linger years after treatment ends,” says Maxine Solvay, community outreach coordinator at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The event will include information from local groups such as Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit and the American Cancer Society that support people living with cancer. Information and interactive stations will help people incorporate physical activity into their lives. Some of the activities will be dancing, golfing, tai chi, yoga, exercising with pets and adaptive exercises. Everyone can participate, no matter what the level of fitness.

The Survivors’ Day event is open to any cancer survivors, including family and friends. Survivors do not need to have been treated at U-M to attend. The event is from 1-3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 11, at the Morris Laurence Building at Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor.

The event is free but registration is encouraged. To register, go to or call 800-742-2300, category 6275.

Written by Nicole Fawcett

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