Cancer survivors and caregivers joined together for a special celebration on Saturday, attending the annual Survivor Brunch hosted as part of the Oakdale-Escalon-Riverbank-Waterford Relay For Life.
The Relay itself is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Oakdale High School soccer fields and the next team meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at 1425 W. H St., in the Oak Valley Medical Plaza meeting rooms.
The April 6 brunch staged at the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire station on East G Street in Oakdale brought together survivors and their caregivers from throughout the communities taking part in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life event. There was food, music, prize drawings and guest speakers including Lisa Vorse with an update on the ACS CAN, Cancer Action Network, legislative initiatives and survivor Mark Bein, who detailed his story.
An Oakdale resident, Bein noted that he has been supportive of the American Cancer Society since he was young and also has served as a caregiver when his grandmother – and later his mother – were both diagnosed with breast cancer.
He added that his mom, like himself, is a cancer survivor and she is a 10-year survivor.
“My mom always told me, men can get breast cancer too,” Bein told the group. “And I have had breast cancer.”
He said what began as pain in his breast eventually went away but then came back roughly a year later. It was then that he also discovered a lump and knew, with his family history, that more investigation was needed.
The diagnosis was cancer, stage 2 breast cancer, with successful treatment including radiation.
“I’m a very lucky person,” Bein said, adding that he has been declared cancer free. “Every day, I am reminded I am a survivor and I am constantly checking myself.”
He urged everyone to be informed about the disease and to take ownership of their health, remaining vigilant. Bein also said he was appreciative for the work of the ACS and saluted his fellow survivors, caregivers and the ACS volunteers.
“I am grateful for everybody here,” he said.
The 2019 Relay will begin with Opening Ceremonies at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 27 and that will be followed by the Survivor Lap, with the rest of the participants joining in thereafter. A number of special events and activities are planned for survivors at Relay and all in the community are welcome to attend at any time throughout the day to help raise money for the continuing fight against cancer.