Taking place June 3rd is National Cancer Survivors Day (www.ncsdf.org). It is an annual celebration that is held in hundreds of communities throughout the US, Canada, and other participating countries on the first Sunday of June. Participants unite in a special event to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be just as meaningful, as it can be productive too in spite of their prognosis.

The non-profit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation supports hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that host National Cancer Survivors Day events in their communities by providing free guidance, education, and networking.

Who is a cancer survivor? The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a “survivor” as anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. National Cancer Survivors Day affords your community an opportunity to demonstrate that it has an active, productive cancer survivor population.

You can attend an official National Cancer Survivors Day event in your area, or locate an event near you, contact your local cancer treatment center, hospital, or American Cancer Society office.

Other things you can do if an event maybe isn’t something you’re interested in:

“Support” a support group: When a person is diagnosed with cancer, the emotional impact can be just as powerful as the physical effect. Patients and their families may experience anxiety, depression, and uncertainty about the future—and may need extra help. Think about a donation to help give a patient(s) an outlet to voice their concerns and fears, and comfort in knowing they’re not facing this disease alone.

Give a “boost” of confidence: Treatment for cancer can be long and traumatic, and may change one’s physical appearance. Many patient and out-patient programs offer personalized consultations on ways to minimize the physical effects of cancer, such as choosing a wig or baseball cap, being fitted for compression garments or breast prostheses, or tips for redrawing eyebrows. Special services can help patients to be better equipped to reclaim a sense of normalcy in their lives.

Look to the future: When patients are finished with their treatment, they are still a part of a larger family, usually associated with a specific hospital or organization. Once a patient has been given a clean bill of health, many questions surface such as changes in the body after treatment, emotional and physical symptom management, finding support groups, and managing the risk of second cancers. Giving a gift to patients allows them the opportunity to meet with experts ranging from cardiologists to fertility specialists. Each patient is provided with a personalized plan, which outlines information related to past treatment and future care—all designed to help survivors thrive.

For more information on where to give or become involved in an event, or where to donate to help survivors, visit any of the following, or try searching for local organizations to you.

The Jimmy Fund/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute- Gift Giving

University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

American Cancer Society

National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation