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Harvest of Hope set for Saturday
Event focuses on support for cancer patients, families
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Harvest of Hope

When: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: First Baptist Church banquet hall, 751 Green St. NW, Gainesville
How much: Free, but advance registration is required
Contact: 770-533-4705

Although a cancer diagnosis can be a very personal situation, Harvest of Hope organizers are showing people they don't have to suffer through their treatment alone.

At 8:30 a.m. Saturday, the Longstreet Cancer Clinic will host the event at First Baptist Church, 751 Green St. NW, Gainesville.

"This is the event's 10th year," said Erin Williamson, Longstreet Clinic public relations specialist.

"It was started by Dr. Anup Lahiry, an oncologist, and continued by the Longstreet Cancer Center when he joined the practice in 2003."

Harvest of Hope is "an event for individuals and their families who have been touched by cancer, regardless of diagnosis or where they received treatment."

Organizers say their goal is to provide an opportunity for individuals to come together for fellowship and to receive useful information.

The event will begin with a group yoga and breathing exercise session. Attendees will then break out into smaller groups for various workshops on topics such as nutrition and fatigue management. There will also be a session where participants can ask a physician questions.

The keynote speaker will be Scott Burton, a cancer survivor and comic, who uses humor to not only share his own story, but to encourage audiences to live their lives to the fullest.

"I felt, and still do, that each moment laughing is a moment you are — if only for a second — in love with life," Burton said.

Shades of Pink, a mass choir comprised of breast cancer survivors, will also be performing. Attendees will also receive lunch and have the opportunity to shop with vendors.

The event is free, but participants are asked to register in advance.

Harvest of Hope is funded partly by Glory Hope and Life, a Gainesville-based nonprofit that works to "provide opportunities and support for cancer patients, families and caregivers."

The group hopes that increased public awareness and advocacy goes a long way toward cancer prevention and survival.