Community celebrates cancer survivors during hoedown style annual event in Duluth

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DULUTH, MN– A celebration at Clyde Iron Works in Duluth honored those who fought one of the toughest battles of all, cancer.

The Miller-Dwan foundation hosted its 3rd annual, Caring Way Cancer Resource Center Survivorship Celebration for those who have or are currently beating the disease that takes so many lives.

Wednesday’s event brought in dozens of community members, friends, family, and of course many who have beat or are battling cancer.

Charlene Buescher drove three hours from her home way up North just to be apart of the festivities.

Charlene is a not one time, but two-time cancer survivor who says events like these are needed to lift the spirits of patients.

It was a hoedown unlike another, a country theme celebration to honor those who fight one of the toughest battles of all.

“I’m just so tickled that all these people are here. We’re all so happy to be here together,” says Buescher.

Buescher was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2016. “I have acute myelogenous leukemia which comes on pretty quick.”

Doctors told Charlene she would have only had have about a week and a half to live if she had not come in when she did. She says, “that’s pretty shocking. You feel like a deer in headlights. Are you talking to me?”

Taking on the ultimate fight for her life, not once, but twice. “I had relapsed last December, November-December and was treated again and it was a challenge, but I’m here to say it was successful.”

And it’s no coincidence that she ended up at this hoe-down as Charlene received her treatments in Duluth.

“Essentia is very important to me. They saved my life and they continue to save my life.”

She says now, after a three-year battle, she has a new outlook on life. “I was so grateful for life. It felt like my life started again once I was done with treatment.”

Organizers of the celebration say they host the event to show appreciation and support for the patient through their hard journey.

Traci Marciniak, president of the Miller-Dwan Foundation says, “we wanted to give them an opportunity to come to acknowledge what they’ve been through, and to just have a chance to have fun and connect with other people and kind of maybe forget about what they’re going through for just a few minutes.”

Charlene, spreading hope to those who are amid their battle. “Life is precious and everyone knows that it can change the next day and miracles happen every day.”

Charlene still comes to Duluth every two-months for check-ups.

She says events like these are special to survivors to show support from community and peers.

Jessie Slater

Jessie Slater

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