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Soldotna commemorates National Cancer Survivors Day

Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna.
Riley Board
Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna.

Sunday was National Cancer Survivors Day. In observance of the commemoration, Central Peninsula Hospital held an event at Soldotna Creek Park honoring cancer survivors and people undergoing cancer treatment.

One of the goals of the event was to raise awareness about cancer survivorship and its impacts on physical and emotional health. The event also featured a bone marrow match drive, a chance for people to register themselves in the National Marrow Donor Program.

“Seventy percent of the people that are looking for a match cannot find one within their own family," said Kelly Marre, an oncology social worker at Central Peninsula Hospital. "We have this drive in hopes that maybe somebody that got on the registry will be a match for somebody in the future.” 

Marre says seven people were registered in the donor program Sunday. About two dozen participated in a celebratory survivor walk along the park’s boardwalk.

This was the first time the hospital held an event for National Cancer Survivors Day. Marre says they plan on hosting more in the future.

“We want people to know that we do have the services here at Central Peninsula Oncology, that we’re part of the hospital, and most of the time we can treat cancer here without sending people elsewhere," she said. "There are some types of cancer that we cannot treat in Alaska, but for the most part, we can treat people with cancer. We want people to know that we have the resources available, we have the support, and that we work together with other providers to give them the best comprehensive care that they can get.” 

If you’re between ages 18 and 40 and are interested in being added to the National Marrow Donor Program registry, contact the hospital’s oncology department. The process takes less than five minutes and requires only a simple cheek swab.

Hunter Morrison is a news reporter at KDLL
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