Leslie Algren has been working with Sparrow Cancer Center's Cancer Survivors Day celebration for 13 years. She sits on the planning committee, passing out buttons to survivors where they can write how long they have survived with or without the disease.
For Leslie, it's been 14 years.
"I was diagnosed at the age of 44 with breast cancer, an advanced case", said Algren. "You wonder, am I going to be able to provide a home or am I going to die before my child graduates from high school."
Those are the feelings of many who attended the event, put on to recognize survivors of a disease that one-in-three people are diagnosed with.
"That's a pretty bad number, but that's reality", said James Herman, M.D., the medical director of Sparrow Cancer Center. "Survival is in the order of 60 to 65 percent across the board, now. It's a very exciting day."
The celebration currently brings over 500 people, some of whom, are still fighting.
"It's changed everything for me to be on this side", said Cindy Mettier, a nurse practitioner whose mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about one month ago. "Understanding the frustration of trying to get that diagnosis in your hand, and then, starting the treatment."
For many of the day's survivors, the best treatment is hope.