Johnston Memorial Hospital | News Article

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

JMH Regional Cancer Center pauses to recognize National Cancer Survivors Day

JMH's chaplain, the Rev. Ellie Scofield, says a few words on National Cancer Survivor Day.



Tammie McGlothlin, Triumph nurse navigator at JMH, with Kathaleen Hutchinson, a breast cancer survivor and patient at the Johnston Memorial Hospital's Regional Cancer Center.ABINGDON, Va. – The Regional Cancer Center at Johnston Memorial Hospital recently hosted a small ceremony in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day and those who have been touched by cancer both directly and indirectly.


On Sunday, June 4, team members, cancer center volunteers and members of the Washington County (Va.) Breast Cancer Support Group took a few minutes outside the cancer center for a prayer by the Rev. Ellie Novak-Scofield, JMH chaplain, and heard a few words from Kathaleen Hutchinson, a breast cancer survivor and patient at the Johnston Memorial cancer center. Kathaleen was joined by members of her family. The group then enjoyed tea and cookies.


National Cancer Survivors Day is a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and an outreach to the community. With the number of survivors in the U.S. doubling in the last quarter-century and mortality rates declining, there is good reason to celebrate the tremendous progress that has been made.

Some of the team members in attendance wore American Cancer Society t-shirts that read: “We are the courageous. We are the passionate. We are the determined. We are hope.”


Here's the prayer Ellie read to the group:


A Letter to My Cancer, by author Ginger Johnson


It may seem like you have control in my life right now, but you really don't.


Your presence only makes me stronger, braver, kinder, wiser.


I choose how I think, what I speak, and how I love.


You will never be able to touch those things. Never.


The fear of your name no longer haunts my soul because I know that my soul belongs to me and to God.


You may take your claim on this frail outer shell but never on my divine spirit that cried out, “I am not my body.”


My soul will run, leap and tower over your attempts to pull me down into despair.


Those who surround me will fight with me to let it be known that we will not surrender.


Our hearts and souls are tied together in a lasting bond that no amount of your impeding growth can break.


You see, cancer, you do NOT own me. I own myself.


And I will survive.


By Ginger Johnson, founder,