GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Cancer survivors across the Upstate met in Greenville Tuesday to celebrate the holiday season together with song.
For Laura Summers-Gaffney, the holiday season is always special.
“It’s just a joy to be around the ladies and sing, and I love it, and my birthday is Christmas,” breast cancer survivor Summers-Gaffney said.
Summers-Gaffney and many of the people caroling are cancer survivors.
“I’m crying because I am a cancer survivor and it’s just tears of joy,” Summers-Gaffney said.
“It can be very lonely and polarizing, so it’s very important to have group situations like this where you feel like you’re not alone and there’s also things you don’t have to explain to certain people. They kind of understand, they’ve been through it themselves,” Jessica Grooms, music therapist, said.
According to Grooms, music allows the individual to focus on something other than their diagnosis.
“Everyone that I met here has been accepting and kind and gracious and those are important things in a world that can be often the opposite,” ovarian cancer survivor Kathleen Kojis said.
“With a diagnosis there is so much that is out of control in peoples lives. with these programs there is something to look forward to,” cancer survivor and volunteer Ginny Cartee said.
Most say that being around other survivors and singing together reminds them that they are not alone in their journey.
“It makes us laugh, smile and not sit home and think about ‘will it come back,'” Summers-Gaffney said.
Prisma Health offers opportunities for survivors to come together and to support one another. Click on the link to find out ways to get connected: https://www.prismahealth.org/