Sanford is Celebrating the Lives of Neck and Head Cancer Survivors

A lot of our patients don't have a friend or a relative that have gone through similar experiences

FARGO, N.D. — Sanford Health is celebrating the lives of those who have won their battle to neck and head cancer.

Survivors are discussing their journeys and how Sanford helped them win their fight.

They say they have a new perspective on life after cancer taught them an important lesson.

“I’m not invincible and when you hear the words ‘you have cancer’ it kind of knocks your socks off,” said David Elysees Tubby Bymoen, a survivor.

But Sanford Health is giving neck and head cancer survivors a chance to celebrate the battle they have won.

“And let patients know they are not alone,” said Andrew Terrell, a neck and head surgeon with Sanford.

…with people just like them.

“A lot of our patients don’t have a friend or a relative that have gone through similar experiences,” Terrell said.

But Sanford is trying to change that.

“I think it’s going to be neat. I hope to meet some of these people and talk to them. How you doing and where you been and where you going?” Bymoen said.

Many of the survivors say it’s tough to look back on their journeys but coming together and talking about Sanford, their staff and the help given, makes those memories a little brighter.

“You see patients for years and so you really develop friendships and it’s just really great to see people outside of the hospital and kind of going about more normal life things,” Terrell said.

This celebration isn’t just about the life they can now freely live.

They say it’s also about thanking the doctors and staff that made their future possible.

“They care personally. I’m not just a number. I am a people. If they were a football I want to be on it. I wanna be with them. I appreciate the people that stand at the door there and will park your car in the mornings before treatments and stuff, the girls in the radiation room, the secretary’s, the ones that do the scheduling,” Bymoen said.

These survivors have seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but for those just embarking on their journey.

“Hang tough. There is always hope. Work hard just don’t let it get ya,” Bymoen said.

Sanford is currently in the process of creating a mentor program so those who have gone through their ups and downs can help others who are just starting their journey.

Categories: Community, Health, Local News, North Dakota News