Daffadil Day sheds light on beating the odds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2005

Fighting cancer can be one of the toughest experiences a person can undergo. Beating it can be one of the greatest.

Three times, Helen Dubois has done both. In the past three decades, she’s faced down colon, uterine and breast cancer.

&uot;My first experience with cancer was one of secrecy,&uot; she told the audience at Obici Hospital’s 11th annual Daffodil Day Friday, a day of celebration for those that have beaten cancer and remembrance for those that didn’t win the fight. Since February, an estimated $6,000 worth of flowers were purchased for loved ones with cancer, money that will go to the American Cancer Society.

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&uot;Cancer was something that was bad and definitely not talked about, or if it was it was in hushed tones. Not only was cancer not talked about, but people had all the wrong ideas about it,&uot; Dubois added. &uot;They thought it was catching; if you shook someone’s hand and they had cancer, you would get it. If they sneezed or coughed around you, you got it. If a co-worker came back after treatment, you still were not safe, so the co-worker was shunned.&uot;

But it’s not like that today.

&uot;It has now been just over three years since my last bout with cancer, seven years since the second one and 26 years since the first one,&uot;

she added. Dubois took her first Survivor’s Lap around the Suffolk Relay for Life track last year (the event begins with those who have beaten or are still fighting the disease joining together and walking around the track as a group).

&uot;I am so glad that things have changed so much, that people talk about cancer and get the word out. We help one another through support groups, and just let others know that we have been there and are here to assist them. I feel very fortunate to be here and I know it could have been so different.&uot;

American Cancer Society president Christy Lynch outlined the Daffodil Day details.

&uot;Daffodils are the first flowers of spring,&uot; she read from a booklet about the event. &uot;A symbol of hope, renewal, and, for the American Cancer Society, the promise that one day, our world will be free of cancer.

&uot;It is an opportunity for everyone to join the Society in the fight against cancer and save more lives. Dollars raised support groundbreaking research, education, advocacy and patient services.&uot;