Cancer Survivors Gather For Support - | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Cancer Survivors Gather For Support

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The countdown for the Yellowstone County Relay for Life continues. Next month, people will gather in Billings to take a stand against cancer, and raise money for the American Cancer Society.

On Thursday, some local cancer survivors gathered in Downtown Billings' Trailhead Spirits to celebrate their triumphs, including a survivor KULR-8 profiled in 2011.

"Surgeons decided to do an MRI before surgery, like the day before surgery, and they found another spot that was actually a very aggressive growing, invasive cancer," said Brenda Chinadle, in October 2011. She was diagnosed in the summer of that same year. Now, Brenda said all is well.

"Everything's great now. It's all good checkups. I'm clear, I'm done with treatment," said Brenda. She also said her experience with Cancer has strengthened her resolve to attend Relay for Life.

"It's kind of odd that several of friends and work acquaintances that I have were diagnosed at about the same time, and I think it has a different meaning for all of us. We were all there at Relay, and it was kind of a neat experience," said Brenda. She was one of many survivors who gathered at Trailhead Spirits.

"In 2001, I had two Testicular Cancers," said Jeff Hinsen.

"Now that most people know about Angelina Jolie, that's my story. Just not so famous," said Vicki Olson Johnson, referring to the Hollywood star's recent surgery. Vicki is also the organizer of the survivor's gathering, and she said it is important for survivors to get to know each other.

"We care about each other. We understand what each person has gone through, even though it's very unique for each one of us," said Vicki.

"People that haven't been through it, it's harder for them to understand, and with this meeting of survivors, it's a lot easier to open up," said Jeff.

Vicki, like many other people, are counting down towards the local Relay for Life.

"If you're a survivor, get registered, and we will be there!" said Vicki.

This year's Relay for Life will take place at Billings West High, on July 12th. Also, throughout the month of June, KULR-8 Television will host our annual Cookout for a Cure, at the Spoke Shop on Broadwater Avenue.