La Crosse area cancer survivors, doctors celebrate life

More than 1,200 people attended the picnic at the La Crosse Center

Often times cancer doesn’t just affect the patient, it also affects their family and friends as well.

Cancer survivors who were treated at Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare and Gundersen Health System were reunited with the people who helped them along the way at the 24th annual Celebrate Life Picnic Tuesday night.

More than 1,200 people were on hand at the La Crosse Center for the picnic. They ranged from cancer survivors and their families, to the doctors who helped treat them.

For cancer survivors, the event was a way to connect with other survivors.

“I think the talking with other people other people that were in the same position that I was once in,” said cancer survivor Sandra Krichner.

“And it’s just happiness. It’s just being happiness with who you are,” added cancer survivor Jone Nelson.

“I think the name says it all – to celebrate life,” Krichner said.

“Celebrate life and not worry about anything else,” Nelson said.

Event said more and more people attend the event every year which could actually be looked as progress in the medical field.

“Cancer is life threatening disease and we’re seeing that it’s transitioning to a chronic disease that more and more people patients are living with verses fearing that they’re going to lose their life,” said Sarah Rossman, a registered nurse at Gundersen Health System.