Families and supporters in Cedar Rapids joined in the fight against cancer by ringing in hope at a ceremony at Mercy Medical Center.
Four months ago John Barker received a devastating diagnosis of stage four throat Cancer.
"Once they tell you that 'C' word, which is absolutely devastating in your life, you've got to take that with a grain of salt and throw it out the window because you cannot live with Cancer and Cancer cannot take your life away from you!" said Barker.
Today, Barker is Cancer free after intense rounds of treatment at Mercy Medical Center. He's one of more than 11 million Cancer survivors in the United States.
"It makes me feel good that I can inspire someone and make him feel better about how they're feeling," said Barker.
Barker spoke to a crowd of about two hundred people at the ceremony at Mercy on Sunday. His Oncologist, Dr. Jasmine Nabi was on hand to show her support.
"He's done fantastically well. He tolerated the treatments very well. He was washing his car and going on his motorcycle during his treatments, and it's definitely an inspiration," said Nabi.
Barker and the other survivors in attendance wrote messages of hope on drywall that will be used in construction of Mercy's new cancer center. The Hall-Perrine Cancer Center will be open by next spring.
"As far as I'm concerned it can actually give you a little bit of life back," said Barker.
The ceremony concluded with the what John Barker called the sound and symbol of survival: bell ringing.
"Just keep on ringing that bell in the back of your head, its another day, another day, another day."
The first stop was the World War II Memorial, where one family was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their veteran, Lyle Swan. They drove all night from Kentucky and Tennessee just to see him arrive.More >>
The first stop was the World War II Memorial, where one family was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their veteran, Lyle Swan. They drove all night from Kentucky and Tennessee just to see him arrive, and cheered as he rolled close.More >>
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