"There is hope with cancer," said cancer survivor, BJ Harp.
Harp has a reason to celebrate. She is a 12 year breast cancer survivor.
"When you first hear the word cancer, there is just so many mixed emotions and overwhelmingness," Harp said. As she continued on her journey, she realized that she was stronger than her disease. "As a result of my cancer, my treatment and the support I got in the community, but there were just a lot of things I learned about myself," Harp said.
The St. Joseph Regional Cancer Center, along with the support of the Saint Joseph Health system, is honoring cancer survivors in their first celebration event in a way to give back to the survivors.
"They have blessed us in so many ways and we want to give back to them," Harp said. As a survivor and a social worker for clinic, Harp wants to spread the hope she feels to others still battling the disease and to fellow survivors.
"We just want to let them know that we are here for them in any capacity," said Harp.
As a surprise for the survivors, hundreds of butterflies were released as a symbol of hope and freedom for the survivors and their families that their battle has reached an end. "The multitude of them when you see them together is the most beautiful gift," Harp said.
St. Joseph hopes to make this an annual event. However, united for the day as one support group, hundreds gathered together to celebrate another day of life.