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Cancer patients get inspiration, information at Harvest event
Patients told to continue enjoying life
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It all began to unravel one day for Scott Burton.

First he made the mistake all jugglers fear: dropping the pin. He then proceeded to drop 16 more pins during his routine.

It didn't stop there, though, as he then fell flat on the stage in front of an entire audience.

"I had been working literally three years on a new juggling routine ... and so I finally got a chance to perform this routine in front of 500 other jugglers and I'm thinking ‘I'm going to blow away this room; they've never seen this before,'" Burton recalled.

That wasn't the only time Burton "lost his balance."
Burton was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone tumor that usually develops during times of rapid growth in adolescence.

"I had a cancer I never should have been diagnosed with," he said. "I was actually too old for my cancer."

Burton was the keynote speaker Saturday at the 10th annual Harvest for Hope held at the First Baptist Church in Gainesville.

Similar to his juggling routine struggle, Burton beat his battle with cancer and is now in remission.

"We all have a part of our life where we invest so much into that one path," he said. "If anything goes wrong, we fly off that path and our lives fly off with it. Juggling was mine."

Saturday's event was organized by Longstreet Cancer Center in Gainesville and was intended to provide information and hope to individuals diagnosed with cancer and their families.

"It's for all types of patients, regardless of diagnosis, for them to come with their family and to hear more updated information about cancer, but also a time for them to just be with one another," said Chastity Nix, administrator of the Longstreet Cancer Center.

Anup Lahiry, medical oncologist for the Longstreet Cancer Center, organized the program to "celebrate life."

"Hope is what keeps us going and the hope is created by actions," Lahiry said.

Jo Stephens of Cleveland is a cancer patient who continues to hope.

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer nearly six years ago and said she misses her old life.

"You can't do the things you used to do, you're tired a lot," she said. "I could go when I wanted to, I could play games and do a lot of things. I had energy and I don't have energy now."

Doctors have told Stephens her cancer is incurable and she will always require chemotherapy.

"It's kind of a drag," she said. "It's aggravating, it's time-consuming, and it's tough. You don't feel like doing anything."

Stephens continues to remain hopeful for the future, however.

Her husband Ed, she says has been "very good."
"I'm a caregiver," Ed Stephens said. "I stay home and keep everything going for her."

Edna Nash was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, but since has gone into remission.

Nash said her battle with cancer was not much of a struggle with the support of her husband and family.

"God just blessed me because I fully leaned on him," she said.

Burton told those in the audience battling cancer that they must continue to remain hopeful and to continue enjoying life.

"There will never, ever be anything funny about cancer ... but there is and always will be a simple and gentle profound humor that glows throughout life," Burton said. "Whether you choose to embrace it or not, that laughter is always there."

 

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