At the 2018 Annual Spring Spa Day, women from around the Region gathered together to be pampered from head to toe. The free event brought together women that are being treated for cancer or are cancer survivors. On that Saturday morning at the St. Peter and Paul Macedonian Orthodox Cathedral and Banquet Hall, every guest was treated to a continental breakfast and some even won door prizes.
Methodist Hospitals was responsible for making the event possible, but they also thanked the vendors for their support and the donations that were graciously made. The event was an important foundation for women to learn from each other and their experiences, but also maintain a support system for their community.
The Annual Spring Spa Day brought positivity to many women dealing with cancer as fellow cancer survivors opened up and shared their stories. The Director of Oncology Services at Methodist Hospitals, James Concato, emphasized how the event has grown over the years.
“More and more people are surviving cancer,” Concato said. “What we are seeing year over year is more attendees because people are living longer after being diagnosed with cancer.”
Since more people are surviving cancer, more people are learning to remain strong and hopeful. For some people, cancer can not only be physically draining, but also mentally, so learning how to win the mental battle that many cancer patients face is crucial.
The guest speaker and Cervivor Ambassador, Heather Banks, a cervical cancer survivor, shined a light for those that have lost all hope or are still carrying the mental scars that cancer left behind.
“Our cancer stories can empower us,” Banks shared, “once we own them and take control of them.”
Owning the stories is a significant part in the healing process, Banks explained.
“I think it is wonderful anytime that you can get cancer survivors together or people who have gone through similar things,” Banks said. “I think it helps with the healing process by owning your own story and being able to move on.”
An attendee, Peggy Seope, is a breast cancer survivor who owned her story and empowered many women at the event.
“When I first found out, my first reaction was anger. I was angry because I always made sure to be healthy and eat the right things,” Seope said. “Then I began to do a lot of research and I ended up at Northwestern.”
As Seope continued her speech, she explained what kind of shock she felt when she was diagnosed. For her, it was essential to get the support from others to fight back.
“It was like you go blank,” Seope said. “You just need all kinds of advocates everywhere to make sure you are doing the right things.”
An attendee and employee of Methodist Hospitals, Melisa Jackson, explained how her family continually empowers her to stay strong.
“Knowing that you have a family that empowers you and strengthens you is important,” Jackson stressed. “I really appreciate that and it just brings the whole community together, especially with the way the world is now. I think it gives hope.”
The 2018 Spring Spa Day brought attention to many women that are cancer survivors and fighters. The message that these women gathered is simply that they are not alone, that hope is not lost if you do not give up fighting.
For more information about Methodist Hospitals, please visit http://www.methodisthospitals.org/.