Humor, hope the focus of cancer survivors event


DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — Health and humor are rarely paired together — especially when the topic is cancer.

"When you're diagnosed, you're scared," said radiation oncologist Dr. Harold Yoon. "You don't know what is going to happen."

But this night is different for survivors like Jerry Hoffman. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer just this past December.

"I didn't realize I really had a problem until I went to the doctor for a general checkup," Hoffman said.

Hoffman is one of the roughly 1000 survivors who packed the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel to share stories, memories and even a few laughs. The event featured actor/comedian (and two-time cancer survivor) Mack Dryden.

"I see their smiling and laughing faces," Dryden said. "I'm in heaven when I see that."

The Centers for Disease Control shows there are more than 600,000 people fighting cancer in Illinois. But this event is about those who made it through and their families — and how their message of resilience and hope can inspire others.

"Things are coming around," Hoffman said. "I'm enjoying life. I've got good neighbors, good friends and good family."

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