Residents of Bartow’s Savannah Court Assisted Living Facility celebrated those who have survived cancer, including 98-year-old Luther Wilson, who has lived cancer-free for more than 60 years following his diagnosis and treatment for colon cancer. The residents were treated to cake, snacks and tokens, all in lavender, the color designated for survivors.
Wilson says he was diagnosed with cancer when he was in his 30s and had surgery. “I’m OK now,” he said. “And have been for a long, long time.”
Ruby Fry, also a nonagenarian who will celebrate her 95th birthday this year, also beat the big C in the 1970s, making her one of the Savanna Court residents who have survived after having cancer the longest. Fry was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has been free of the disease since treatment, she said at Tuesday’s celebration of Cancer Survivor’s Week.
Each survivor also inscribed their names on lavender ribbons and pinned them to the year-round celebration tree, the centerpiece of the afternoon’s party.
Other residents who survived cancer included: Carol Fritchi, Linda Shavers, Marie Van Sickle, Edna Shiver, Annette Hunter, who all battled breast cancer, Martha Thomas who beat pelvic cancer, Lillian Taylor and George Hamer, who won their fight against melanoma, and Wilson and Leo Taylor who both survived colon cancer.
A testimony about her own cancer was provided by Mulberry Church of God minister Debbie Albritton who also led the group in prayers of thanksgiving. Albritton leads church services at the Savannah Court on Sundays.
The cancer survivors fete was planned by Activities Director Suzan Johnson and Resident Relations Coordinator Jill Harvick who also acted as mistress of ceremonies for the affair.
Refreshments were provided for the residents and their guests by hospice agencies and other support groups, according to Harvick.
The Savannah Court facility in Haines City also held a survivors celebration on Friday during Cancer Survivors Week.