Cancer Connection to hold annual walk for National Cancer Survivor Day

    2022's Celebration of Life walk. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Cancer Connection, a nonprofit organization in Juneau, is holding its annual walk for National Cancer Survivor Day on Jun. 4.

    Jenna O'fontanella joined Capital Chat to talk about Cancer Connection's annual event.

    "Sunday, from 11 to 1, a national holiday that's celebrated actually all over the world. It's an annual event for Cancer Connection," she said. "We'll be gathering at Marine Park at 11. It's for survivors, family, loved ones. We'll walk from there to the Bill Overstreet Park which is where the whale is and gather there for celebration."

    This year's theme is celebration.

    "It hasn't been confirmed yet, but we're hoping to have a bagpiper that will lead the walkers to the whale," O'fontanella said. "We'll have Native Alaska dancers when we arrive, we'll have them doing a short dance and song, and a land acknowledgment will also take place. Then, we'll have a BBQ that will also happen that's being volunteered by the Coast Guard."

    She explained what Cancer Connection offers the community.

    "We provide a lot of different services but mostly service of support. We have a program that is a travel assistance program. So we provide financial help for people that are having to travel from their community in Southeast Alaska to wherever they're receiving cancer care," she shared. "We also have a 'Let's Talk' program, so it matches you up with somebody that also has gone through perhaps a similar kind of cancer and helps you during that initial time of diagnosis. We also have counseling reimbursement as well as an apartment in Seattle. And then we have a support group that's the third Tuesday of every month."

    O'fontanella added that she herself is a cancer survivor and Cancer Connection helped to support her in her time of need.

    Cancer Connection also hosts its annual fundraiser Beat the Odds Race Against Cancer every August.

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