Locals celebrate Cancer Survivor Day

It's a national celebration that tens of thousands of people right here on Delmarva are taking part in.  Cancer Survivors Day is a day to commemorate the battles fought, and won on a daily basis against a terrible disease that has touched everyone in one way or another.

There are over 15 million cancer survivors in the U.S.  Including those on the eastern shore fighting their battles, like the ones fought by Tom and Terry Mooney, of Wicomico County.

Tom was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 13 years ago, and was given just 18-24 months to live.

"Well, we cried.  And held on to each other.  Because back in those days, somebody had cancer that was the end," said Tom.   "It's devastating.  You don't know what to do."

Despite operations to remove the cancer from his lungs and eye, Tom is still fighting, laughing and enjoying life with his wife Terry of 59 years.

Six years ago, she was diagnosed with skin cancer.

"It's been a trial, yet I think it's brought us closer together," said Tom.   "It's just that the care that we each have to give each other."

One of the big reasons for their success in their battles are days and groups like this.  Meeting regularly with cancer support groups.

"Anybody that has cancer of any kind needs to join because it becomes a family," said Terry Mooney.

"The patients very much appreciate the time spent with other patients to be able to share their personal journey, and we have professional facilitators, our social workers facilitating those groups," said Joan Mischtschuk, executive director at the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute.

The groups present an opportunity for survivors to discuss their battles, to enjoy some laughs, and to keep up the fight.

"For some, it instill hope, for some they have the hope and they can share that with others that may not have as much hope as they do," said Mischtschuk.

Categories: Local News, Maryland