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Honoring Cancer Patients, Present and Past

William Warby

Rhinelander’s Ministry St. Mary’s Hospital is hosting a gathering for cancer survivors.  

It’s the sixth annual Celebration of Life.  Event organizer Kim Hetland is a Manager in Radiation Oncology at Ministry’s James Beck Cancer Center.  She says the evening is also a chance to honor those lost to cancer. 

“We wanted it more than just a cancer survivor event. We wanted it more of a celebration – of life, that would honor not only our cancer survivors but also our patients that have passed on.”

Hetland says 125 people attended last year’s celebration.  Highlights will include a guest speaker and the symbolic release of about 50 butterflies.  Typically the butterflies are monarchs, but Hetland says this year they’ll release painted ladies.

“The butterfly release –it’s exciting for everyone, it’s real quiet and when they’re released everyone is all happy and excited and the butterflies are landing on people. It’s a real happy time.”

The butterflies are scheduled to arrive on ice from Florida Wednesday.  This year’s event is Thursday evening at the James Beck Cancer Center.

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