Cancer survivors and guests invited to celebrate Saturday

LAWRENCEVILLE - The American Cancer Society is inviting all Gwinnett cancer survivors to converge Saturday at the North Metro Baptist Church for an afternoon of celebration and fellowship.

The Pre-Relay for Life Cancer Survivors' Celebration is the first of what ACS area manager Randy Redner hopes will become an annual event. The keynote speaker will be Roger Cawthon, a former CNN reporter and stand-up comedian known as the "Cancer Comic." Cawthon and his wife are both cancer survivors. His presentation, called "Medicine, Marathons and Miracles," takes a humorous look at a not-so-funny disease.

Cawthon knows firsthand that cancer is no joke, but as Redner put it, "a good laugh is great medicine."

The event will also be used to educate survivors about the many ways they can become involved in the ACS and on the latest trends in the fight against cancer.

"We do a survivors' reception at the Relay for Life event, but with so many people and so much going on, we really don't have a chance to talk to them about what the cancer society can do," Redner said. "This is a quieter setting where we can spend some time with them."

Redner estimates there are 25,000 cancer survivors in Gwinnett.

"Once you're a survivor, you're a survivor for life," Redner said. "We will be with you the rest of your life, no matter when you need us."

The celebration is open to all survivors - who are invited to bring a guest - and caregivers. The program is free but registration is required.

To register or for more information, call 770-814-0123 or log onto www.gwinnettrelayforlife.org.

SideBar: If You Go

What: American Cancer Society survivor celebration

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Metro Baptist Church, 1026 Old Peachtree Road, Lawrenceville