Cancer survivors celebrate life

CHICAGO — If you didn't know better, you'd think the crowd of people wearing capes were on their way to some sort of super hero street fest.

Many of them have done amazing things: they're cancer survivors, doctors who treat cancer and the sidekicks and allies of cancer sufferers. They got together over the weekend to celebrate life, continuing a 15-year tradition at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

"This is just a great way to celebrate their lives, whether it's just someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, living with cancer, bring everyone together to share as a community," said Ann Mauer, the Medical Director of the Cancer Center at Illinois Masonic.

John Hall and his wife Lynda are both survivors. John fought throat cancer and has been cancer-free for five years, while his wife has been cancer free for five months.

"I went through it with him, and it gave me and gave him practice on what to do as a care giver and gave me practice on what to do as a patient," Lynda Hall said.

Both had some dark days, but credit their doctors, their faith and each other for the motivation to keep fighting. These celebrations of life are just another reminder there is more than just hope when someone you love is facing cancer.

Not everyone wins their fight against cancer, but John is correct: more people today are living cancer-free lives after diagnoses and treatment. Thanks to advances in medicine, not to mention heroic doctors and patients who refuse to give up the fight.