KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 1 in 3 women will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute. That number rises to 1 in 2 when it comes to men.
Locally, there are 80,000 people living with cancer across the five county metro area. On Sunday, hundreds of families gathered at Bloch Cancer Survivors Park to share success stories of cancer survival.
“I was diagnosed seven years ago with stage four prostate cancer,” said Caesar Blevins with Prostate Network. “I was devastated, I was shocked. I had no family history. I had a son 35 years of age right now, and I didn’t know what to do,” said Blevins.
At 52 years old, Blevins said he leaned on his friend and fellow cancer survivor, Steve Hentzen. Together they started the organization, Prostate Network.
“You think it is a death sentence but it is not. Sometimes it may be, but for a lot of us, it is not. If you lean on other people that have survived, they can help guide you through it,” said Hentzen.
Sunday’s KC Cancer Survivors Day rally focused on the community coming together every year, for the last 32 years. This year brought an announcement about a new organizer who will lead the annual celebration of life moving forward. Siobhan McLaughlin-Lesley, with Gilda’s Club Kansas City, said she wants the National Cancer Survivors Day rally to continue to grow and help the community become stronger together.
“Sharing the message that this is a disease that, that for many can be conquered and many can live with it and live with it well. Live happy and productive lives,” said McLaughlin-Lesley.
FOX 4’s John Holt was the speaker at Sunday’s KC Cancer Survivors Day Rally.