Honoring the true heroes of Oaks Day

On the day of the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade, an ovarian cancer survivor shares her reasons for participating.

Cheryl Giltner of Fern Creek, Kentucky, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just before Oaks Day 2015. After a hysterectomy and six rounds of chemotherapy at Norton Cancer Institute, she is now cancer-free, receiving checkups every three months.

Giltner is one of 142 breast and ovarian cancer survivors selected via a voting process to participate in the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade today. She’ll be accompanied by her husband and best friend, Roger, and cheered on by her three children and 10 grandchildren.

Marking one year since her diagnosis, here is why she is looking forward to this special day.

I was approached by a dear friend who wanted to nominate me to walk in the Survivors Parade. I thought for a minute and said, “Yeah, I would be OK with that” (not realizing it was a voting process at the time). After thinking about it I thought, “Why do I want to walk in this?” 

My reasons: 

First, I thank the Lord above for allowing me to live another day and participate in this walk. I am truly blessed.

Second, I want to walk for all those that have had or are struggling with cancer now and to walk in memory of the ones that lost the battle.

Third, I will walk and pray for a cure for this disease that touches so many lives. As I parade around the track, I will carry ribbons with names of loved ones and friends that are fighting now or that we have lost.

I would like to thank my wonderful doctors and staff at Norton Cancer Center for their love and compassion, and for always making me feel so special. You guys are awesome!

– Cheryl Giltner

Norton Cancer Institute salutes all of our heroes participating in the parade! We will be cheering for you!

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