The Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House will host a cancer survivor celebration on Tuesday, July 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Alma Aquatic Park at 731 City Park Road.

The annual event provides a time to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding and even inspiring, said Amy Willadsen, outreach coordinator for DWRCSH.

“Come see how life after cancer is more than just surviving. It can be beautiful, abundant, and fulfilling. And that’s something to celebrate,” Willadsen said. “This celebration is filled with joy, hope, camaraderie, and compassion as we acknowledge our community’s cancer survivors. We will also recognize the contributions of their families, friends, and healthcare providers and raise awareness of the ongoing challenges faced by cancer survivors today.”

The DWRCSH is providing free admission to Alma Aquatic Park for the event. An admission pass is required and a limited number are available. Passes are distributed first come, first served, and may be obtained at DWRCSH at 3324 S. M St. in Fort Smith during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (479) 782-6302 for information.

Willadsen said a cancer survivor is anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. It is estimated that there are nearly 16 million people in the United States living with a history of cancer.

Major advances in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment have resulted in longer survival, and therefore, a growing number of cancer survivors, she said.

“However, a cancer diagnosis can leave a host of problems in its wake,” Willadsen said. “Physical, financial, and emotional hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Survivors may face many challenges, such as limited access to cancer specialists and promising new treatments, inadequate or no health insurance, financial hardships, difficulty finding employment, psychosocial struggles, and a lack of understanding from family and friends.”

In light of these difficulties, she said the community needs to focus on improving the quality of life for cancer survivors.

“Despite the numerous challenges they face, cancer survivors live full, productive lives and serve as an inspiration to all of us,” Willadsen said. “It’s time for our community to stand with them and help find ways to lessen the burdens a cancer diagnosis brings.”

Call DWRCSH at (479) 782-6302 with questions regarding the celebration or any of the cost free, non- medical support services DWRCSH provides for the community.