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Be A ‘Live-er.’ Celebrate Something Every Day!

By Cheryl Stevens

October 12, 2016

On March 27, 2006, I was diagnosed with breast cancer — The devastation and uncertainty I felt between diagnosis and my bilateral mastectomy on April 7 was nearly insurmountable. All I could focus on was dying, missing my families’ lives and the unknown.  As my journey continued through diagnosis, surgery and treatment, I chose not to be ‘just another patient’ and began approaching each treatment with silliness and humor.

I wore silly hats to treatment and discovered that humor and laughter played a significant role in my physical and mental healing. What began selfishly as a way for me to cope with my diagnosis and treatments has turned into a monthly mission to encourage cancer survivors, caregivers and staff with humor, laughter and smiles to ‘be a live-er’ and to celebrate something every day! Flamingos for Hope (Friends Laughing, Achieving Miracles, Inspiring and Nurturing Gifts, Offering Smiles) formed out of my desire to make sure that this ‘program’ continue in perpetuity, to ‘fund the fun’ and to involve more volunteers. Laughter is the best medicine.