Two Berks County women honored for five-year fight against cancer

Berks County residents Linda Epler and Anita Gray joined 79 other five-year survivors at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia to celebrate five years of cancer survivorship at the Celebrate Life event on May 19.

Linda Epler of Blandon and Anita Gray of Reading returned to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia to celebrate a milestone in their respective cancer journeys — five years of cancer survivorship — a momentous occasion deemed “Celebrate Life” by the Center on May 19.

Celebrate Life is an annual event dedicated to commemorating five-year cancer survivors for their courage and ability to serve as beacons of hope to others who are battling the disease.

During this year’s meaningful celebration, Epler and Gray joined 79 other five-year survivors, as well as current patients and their loved ones, to partake in emblematic events, including a tree planting ceremony, whereby one tree was planted for each five-year survivor, a dove release during which patients released several doves into the sky to symbolize revitalization, and HOPE rounds in which celebrants handed symbolic “HOPE” pins to patients currently undergoing treatment at CTCA, reminding them to remain optimistic throughout their journey.

“Celebrate Life is a time for us to come together as a community and honor our celebrants, while also recognizing the people who have helped them reach this important milestone,” said Nancy Hesse, President and Chief Executive Officer of CTCA in Philadelphia. “Five years is a significant milestone in a person’s cancer journey. We’re thrilled to commemorate this special time and reflect together on how far our celebrants have come.”

For more information, visit, and

comments powered by Disqus