WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Cancer survivors from New Hanover County got together today during the annual Relay for Life Survivors Reception.
“I was diagnosed when I was seventeen months old with a rare form of liver cancer,” says Jessica Hufham, a cancer survivor. “It normally hits kids when they are two and a half to three and a half, but I was pretty young when it happened and it hits one in a million kids.”
Jessica Hufham is just one of eleven hundred cancer survivors in Wilmington and surrounding counties. Each has a unique story to tell and different struggles to face.
“I have difficulties from treatment,” says Jim Shea, a throat cancer survivor. “I have no saliva. I have a lot of different issues, but I’m breathing in and breathing out.”
This year every survivor was given a name tag. Instead of writing their names on it, they wrote the number of years, or birthday they have survived cancer.
“One lady has been a survivor for six weeks,” says Wanda Bass, the chairman of survivor activities with the New Hanover County Relay for Life. “And another lady we signed up a while ago has been a survivor for fifty five years.”
Hufham says that even though she is one of the youngest survivors at the reception, she feels it’s a chance to give advice to the recently diagnosed.
“In a way, it makes me feel like I’m not the only one who got it,” says Hufham. “I feel like I’m not just different. I’m the same as other people. There’s other people that have been diagnosed.”
The New Hanover County Relay for Life is scheduled for April 15th at Ashley High School.