FAIRFIELD — Kenneth Taylor is a survivor. Kit Close and Tonzel Prince are too.
So were most of the others who filled the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts on Saturday afternoon.
They gathered for Solano County’s 14th annual Cancer Survivor’s Day, traditionally held on the first Sunday in June of every year throughout the world.
The day was marked not with sadness and tears but with a celebratory fare aiming to let the world know that life after cancer is real.
“It’s a feel-good event,” said Sally Wyatt, public relations for NorthBay Healthcare.
“We’re honoring our cancer survivors in Solano County and their supporters,” said Charlene Thompson, NorthBay’s cancer data coordinator.
The free event, which was so popular this year that tickets had to be issued for the first time and a waiting listed was started, offered a social hour that included activities in the courtyard, a food buffet, exhibits and information tables. The centerpiece of the program, however, were the speakers. The audience heard cancer updates and from keynote speaker, Kyle Restad, the 2010 “Hero of Hope” for the Greater Bay/Redwood Empire region who has Familial Adenomatosis Polyposis.
Taylor’s tale was infused with humor.
“After being diagnosed with breast cancer I had to figure out what to tell my friends,” Taylor told the audience.
The audience didn’t just chuckle, it was a resounding laugh, which Taylor joined in on.
Marty Close spoke from a different perspective; that of a caregiver after his wife got breast cancer in 2008. He offered up five things that he learned while taking care of his wife, Kit Close.
n Say yes to friends: Let them help.
n Be their own best advocate: When Marty Close’s wife decided she didn’t need to see a doctor during one of her cancer treatments, he decided she did.
n Treat yourself: Go shopping, go on some trips.
n Plan something fun: His wife planned a trip to Lake Tahoe for the extended family.
n Have faith.
The event featured musical entertainment, free massages, photos taken in front of several “Survivor Quilts” and a raffle with donated prizes including a trip to Las Vegas.
Next year’s event will be held on June 5.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Author: By Susan Winlow
Source: Daily Republic