The 34th Annual Women's Cancer Survivorship Workshop
By: Faith Jeffcoat
Amidst the darkness, a warm glow emerges. One by one, as women celebrating their survivorship milestones light their candles, a flickering of hope illuminates the room, casting a light on the close-knit community of cancer survivors, their families, and friends.
Each year, the 34th Annual Women’s Cancer Survivorship Workshop and Celebration brings together more than 300 individuals impacted by various types of cancers — including breast and gynecologic — to share their stories, provide support, and celebrate survivorship.
The workshop is both an educational session where experts help survivors of women’s cancers explore the next steps after treatment with positive approaches to healthy living, as well as a celebration of life.
“You get a pin every year you come, so some ladies show up with a hat full of pins, and that is really hopeful to see,” Denise Wickline, Events Manager at Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation and breast cancer survivor says. “And at the end of the event, you get to light a candle, and it is really emotional. It is a symbol of another year of survival.”
From sharing their experiences, knowledge, and wisdom to supporting one another, the survivors form strong bonds of mutual support during the event.
As the workshop grows, so will its impact on the lives of cancer survivors and their communities. With each year that passes, the candles will continue to glow, offering a hopeful light for the future.
The 2023 event featured a keynote address by The Breasties, which discussed living with cancer, and a talk on post-treatment exercise and well-being. The breakout sessions covered breast cancer topics, including tumor-immune crosstalk and personalized therapies, metastatic growth regulation, and the Breast Cancer Research Advocacy Network. The gynecologic oncology sessions addressed ovarian clear cell cancer, and DNA damage and repair machinery in leiomyosarcomas.
Read the full Winter 2024 MAGEE Magazine issue here.