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Cancer survivors celebrate together

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Cancer survivors celebrate together
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LIVERPOOL, N.Y. -- It's a 50’s themed party to celebrate life. Most of the people at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool Sunday were cancer survivors who are being treated for or have already beaten their cancer.

"It's a real journey. And the aftermath stays with you for a long time, but I feel great," said Bernie Axenfeld, a five-year cancer survivor.

National Cancer Survivors Day is celebrated across the country in over 700 communities. This year around 11 million survivors are being honored.

"It's a wonderful feeling to see so many people who have overcome this devastating disease and that's why we have this event, is to really celebrate that in the fact that yes, you're struck with a devastating disease but you can overcome it, and you can win," said Loretta Grihin, an office manager at Upstate Medical University.

Many of the survivors here say that it's very empowering to be in the presence of so many people who have also won their battle against cancer.

"It's rewarding to know that we can celebrate life," said Denika Mesa, a seven-year cancer survivor.


Mesa and her sister Dory Lundy were both diagnosed with breast cancer and both beat the disease.

They say Cancer Survivors Day is a good reminder of how precious life is.

"It's been so long it's like even though you don't forget it's so far away from you but then you come back to the survivors day and ya know you see everybody living and it's a different appreciation for life," said Dory Lundy, a six-year cancer survivor.

Survivors from age seven to age 87 were at the event in Liverpool.

Grihin says that cancer survivors are the largest growing population in the United States.

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