Survivor connects with others at annual free weekend retreat

4:45 PM, Jun 10, 2013   |    comments
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Clearwater, FL -- A Clearwater breast cancer survivor is using her own experience to help both survivors and patients to have someone to share with along their journey to better health... both mentally and physically.

"Twelve years ago, I went to my primary physician for my general check up. She actually discovered the lump in my breast.  Then proceeded to send me to a surgeon.  And I had a mammogram done after that and also had the MRI," Janet Ferguson said.

The results revealed Janet had a small tumor at age 64. This mother and grandmother says she was scared.

"I wasn't ready to die. I really didn't know what the ramifications would be. Didn't know what the procedure would be," Janet said.

But after doctors removed the lump, she and her husband started volunteering for Morton Plant and a free weekend retreat for adult cancer survivors called Camp Living Springs.

"It's a chance for them to take off their wigs and go bare headed which they can't do all the time," Janet said.

Her advice for those who are newly diagnosed is simple.

"Find a friend or join a group where you can share and get your feelings out, learn as much as you can about it, " Janet said.

Through her 7,000 volunteers hours since her own battle with cancer, she's met many survivors.

"A lot of times you find out how others have a more serious experience than you've had which is what I discovered with my cancer. 'Cause I really felt I got off easy. I did not have to have chemotherapy. I didn't have radiation. And it just makes you stop and thank the Lord that you've been given the life that you've had," Janet said.

To learn more about Camp Living Springs, click here.

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