By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Harvest of Hope: Proof that life does go on
Cancer survivors gather for fellowship, support at First Baptist Church
Placeholder Image

Cancer can strike anyone at any time.

A quick glance over the crowd gathered at Saturday's Harvest of Hope proved that to be true. Male, female, young and old — the disease doesn't discriminate.

The annual event, presented by the Longstreet Cancer Clinic, was held at First Baptist Church of Gainesville on Green Street. Harvest of Hope is an opportunity for individuals and families that have been affected by cancer to come together in fellowship.

In addition to wellness breakout sessions, attendees also got the opportunity to hear from Danielle Beverly, a three-time cancer survivor.

"Cancer is often viewed as a death sentence, but after hearing ‘You have cancer,' three times, I'm living proof that life does go on," Beverly said.

"It was either get busy living, or prepare to die and dying wasn't an option."

Beverly was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 at age 29, again in 2005, and a third time in 2007 when she was 36 weeks pregnant.

While Beverly admitted to the group that battling the disease wasn't always easy, she says that with the support of her husband, former Atlanta Falcon Eric Beverly, and prayer, she has been able to use her diagnosis to grow as a person.

"It was either get busy living or prepare to die, and dying wasn't an option," she said.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain."

Shades of Pink, a mass choir composed of breast cancer survivors, also performed several selections during Harvest of Hope. The choir sang songs of love, support and the importance of remaining optimistic about the future, themes that seemed to resonate with attendees, who enthusiastically waved their hands in the air and wiped away tears.

"Adversity is only temporary, it doesn't have to define you," said Beverly, who started a foundation with her husband to help uninsured and underinsured breast cancer patients in the metro Atlanta area.

"Use your experience to help others. Look at adversity as an opportunity to become better, not bitter."