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Wilmington, NC (WWAY) — A diagnosis of cancer can feel like a death sentence, but one area hospital is trying to change that stigma.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center held “Cancer Celebration Day” on Sunday to give survivors and those battling cancer a chance to meet and share their stories.

“That word cancer you really correlate cancer with the end of your life,” said three-time cancer survivor Mildred Bethea. For me I had to look at the fact that my mother who is also a breast cancer survivor twice, she’s still here. She was here then and she’s still here so it doesn’t have to mean the end of your life.”

For those currently battling cancer the day was about hope and trying to find encouragement to make it through the rigors of the disease.

“It’s hard to say but it’s been a wonderful experience to see how you never really ever get to how people really care for you until you go through something like this,” said Loretta Kane. But even if I don’t make it I’m good with the lord. I’m just thankful that god has given me nine more months.”

Cancer is currently the second leading killer in America, but doctors say that every day we get closer to a cure.


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