er, their families, and community members gathered together Saturday for the sixth annual Breast Cancer Awareness Celebration. The event is a celebration, though it covers a deadly serious topic.
Delilah Hamilton and her sister, Hadiyah Dansby, who both won their battles with breast cancer, put the event on every year.
Hamilton said she felt this year’s event went well.
“We did alright today,” she said.
There was a new addition to the schedule of events this year. Instead of having a musical performer come in, the group sang together — something Hamilton said she loved hearing.
“We just want to do something to make people happy,” she said. “Because breast cancer is nothing to be laughing about and it can be a very sad thing for a lot of people. But this is an opportunity to get together with other people that have gone and had experience or have family members that have had the experience. So we get together, laugh as much as possible. This time we sang together and we had a lot of testimonies.”
In addition to scheduled speakers, audience members who had fought breast cancer had a chance to speak about their experiences.
Attendees were presented with gifts and had the opportunity to eat together, as well.
The celebration was free to attendees.
“It’s just a fun activity for us,” Hamilton said.
Sylvia Hallstrom was one of the survivors who attended the event. She is a 17-year survivor who has had breast cancer three times. Hallstrom has, since mid-2006, done a treatment every 21 days to keep her cancer from coming back.
It’s better, she said, than the alternative.
“It heals,” she said.
Hallstrom is grateful to be alive.
“Some people who are not as fortunate as I — who have just been diagnosed for the first time — they don’t make it,” she said.
Hallstrom’s battle, she said, has made her strive to be a better person each day.
“I’m grateful to be able to open up my eyes every morning,” she said.
But Hallstrom hopes people understand there’s light at the end of the tunnel and the fight is doable — she has won it multiple times.
“You’re always waiting for that second shoe to fall,” she said. “Well, I’ve already had three of them fall.”
Hallstrom attends Junction City’s annual breast cancer awareness event despite the fact she now lives in Abilene because she enjoys the sense of unity it provides.
“When you walk in there, you can’t help but feel loved,” she said. “We’re in all of this together and I’m here for you — basically saying ‘you’re not alone.’”