National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual holiday dedicated to celebrating life after cancer diagnosis. Managed by the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, this holiday is held on the first Sunday in June each year. National Cancer Survivors Day 2011 was held on June 5th. Started in 1988, this year’s National Cancer Survivors Day marks the holiday’s 23rd anniversary. Originally held solely in the United States, holiday celebrations now also take place in Canada, India, the Netherlands and many other nations around the world.
Thanks to medical research and early detection, the number of cancer survivors has increased dramatically over the past decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while there were 3 million cancer survivors in 1971, the figure for 2007 was 11.7 million of people who are living with this disease.
Though National Cancer Survivors Day is observed internationally, most festivities are local celebrations. These are often sponsored by hospitals, cancer research facilities and other organizations committed to the cause. It’s also common for other cancer awareness causes to be represented at holiday gatherings, armed with sign-ups for events like the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure. Events held for National Cancer Survivors Day include fundraisers, carnivals, speeches, concerts and art exhibits. Most events are designed for all ages, so it’s a great idea to bring the entire family along.
This holiday is as much for cancer survivors as it is for those still fighting. For patients still struggling with cancer, seeing and participating in the day’s events can help remind them that they’re not alone and that there’s hope. Look out for purple bracelets in the crowd; these are worn as a badge of honor by cancer survivors. Since many National Cancer Survivors Day events are locally-based, they also provide a great opportunity to meet new friends and supporters right in your own backyard.
Attending National Cancer Survivors Day parades or other events in your area is a great way to show your support for friends and loved ones who have been diagnosed with cancer. Just as cancer survivors typically wear purple bracelets, supporters can often be found wearing cancer awareness pins. Awareness ribbon pins are especially popular, as these can help show which type of cancer a loved one is battling. For example, pink ribbons represent the fight against breast cancer while teal ribbons support ovarian cancer. While supportive clothing and accessory items are not required to take part in National Cancer Survivors Day, they are a nice way to show some added support for the heroes this holiday honors.