A "Wall of Hope" will debut at the American Cancer Society Relay For Life in Storm Lake this year. Sponsored by Buena Vista Regional Medical Center, the "Wall of Hope" will feature first-hand accounts of cancer survivors telling their own stories.
Joan Christen, oncology case manager with the BVRMC Oncology Department, said the Wall of Hope is patterned after a similar project done by the American Cancer Society known as "Faces of Hope."
The Wall of Hope will feature stories by any cancer survivor wishing to share experiences. The Wall of Hope will be seen for the first time at the 2003 Relay For Life July 12-13.
"This will be an inspiration for others to know what these survivors have experienced," Christen said. "It also gives the survivors a chance to share their personal stories."
The Wall of Hope will display the stories, along with pictures of the survivors who wrote them. Identifying people with the disease helps break down stereotypes associated with it.
The initial idea started with the S.O.S. cancer support group. The Wall of Hope is open to all local survivors.
"The goal is to show people are living with cancer," Christen said. "So many people out there don't realize people are working and living normal lives with the diagnosis of cancer - they don't realize there is hope, as well as new drugs, treatments and therapies out there that we can keep survivors living with the cancer in remission."
The Relay For Life raises thousands each year for cancer research, services, education and prevention. For information about the Wall of Hope, contact Buena Vista Regional Medical Center's Oncology Department at 712-732-4455, ext. 2592.