By Katie Hererra
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Saturday marked National Cancer Survivor Day. For the first time in Birmingham, all ten local cancer organizations came together to put on a celebration for survivors called "Celebrating Life."
Cancer survivors packed Pepper Place Market to celebrate a life not controlled by cancer.
"Everyone is coming up to one another and greeting each other, asking each other how long have you been a survivor. And they're congratulating one another," said Melanie Smith.
Smith is celebrating four years of being breast cancer free. She says networking at an event like this - which bring survivors together - is a blessing.
"On those days when it's difficult to get out of bed, and cancer patients know what I'm talking about, that's when you really need that encouraging word, that card that comes in the mail, that phone call," said Smith
Others reached out to survivors, as well. The cancer survivors received free cooking lessons, gardening tips, family portraits and free massages.
"It lifts them physically, emotionally, and spiritually," said Janice Amyson, a local massage therapist. She was happy to lend a hand to those who have been through tough times. "It's my pleasure to be here and meet people and to help people and give them knowledge of massage. And it's just been an awesome day," said Amyson
It was a day of pampering, in honor of perseverance.