Celebration of Life Event 28 September 2013 at St Aidan’s Church, Leeds
The Beyond Cancer Charity Celebration of Life event was attended by 150 people from across all ages. Our aim was to celebrate the life of survivors, remember those we have loved and lost to the effects of cancer, raise awareness and create a safe place to share information .
This event was the first of its kind for Beyond Cancer. In partnership with local churches, the evening featured an eclectic mix of personal journeys from cancer survivors, family members and friends, worship, prayers, music and song. The performers; Poet (Patricia Jones), Royal Blood, The Visionaires, Voices in Praise Choir, Shekinah Glory Choir, the Voice of Yesteryear (Laura Stimpson) and Saxophonist Tony Daniels had everyone mesmerised, keeping the celebratory theme alive with their choice of poetry and songs.
With the echoing background sounds of the saxophone, played by saxophonist Tony Daniel, the evening culminated with the bringing together of the two symbols chosen for the evening. The “Tree of Life” symbolising strength, anchored through it roots and White Butterflies, symbolising freedom and new life upon which the names of those affected by cancer past and present were written. In a moment of silence the tree was lit, bringing together the two symbols, to show the strength, beauty and hope of life. Donations on the evening raised £550.00 for Cancer Research UK, in the hope that a cure will be found for all cancers one day.
Below are some of the messages of support we received after the event:
"The most moving part for me was the presentation of the butterflies with personal messages from loved ones, there were so many read out and then added to the tree. The tree looked amazing all lit up highlighting the love and thanks for those people being in our lives."
"Thank you Beyond Cancer for a fantastic thought provoking and informative evening"
"Thank you for creating a warm and calm space where people felt able to speak freely"
"I did not know what to expect but listening to other people’s experiences made me think"
The message from those who shared personal journeys was very clear; with a focus on giving encouragement to men, you do not choose cancer, cancer chooses you, so:
if you feel something is wrong seek help from your doctor at the earliest opportunity
be persistent because you know your body better than anyone else
get to know and understanding your family health history
speak to others about your concerns
get a health check, you are never too young
attend screening checks when you are invited
if you are diagnosed with cancer there is plenty of help available
Above all, in the words of one of the songs performed on the evening “Live your Life Like it’s Golden”.