Henry Mayo, cancer survivors celebrate life

Cancer survivor Leslie Borgen, left, and the attendees at the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital annual Cancer Survivor Celebration release 70 "painted lady" butterflies at the end of the celebration held at the Outpatient Surgery building in Valencia on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Santa Clarita Valley cancer survivors gathered Thursday at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital for the hospital’s annual cancer survivor celebration.

During the third annual get-together, a few dozen local survivors of cancer enjoyed the opportunity to meet with one another, share stories and connect with hospital staff. The theme of this year’s event was “Hope Grows Here,” and shortly after attendees enjoyed musical entertainment and complimentary refreshments, Lisa Ortega, the hospital’s director of outpatient programs, would take the stage to recognize the program’s attendees.

Attendees tie ribbons on the Tree of Hope after the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital annual Cancer Survivor Celebration held at the Outpatient Surgery building in Valencia on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“You’ve been through an extraordinary journey. You’ve endured many challenges but also many successes. You’re not alone and all of us who have gathered tonight are here to support you,” Ortega said prior to the release of painted ladies butterflies, which officials said is symbolic of the cancer survivors’ continued journeys.

Jinky Tyrrell, who was recently named Mrs. Santa Clarita Valley, was one of the local survivors in attendance Thursday evening, and following a group picture, the local advocate said she felt it was important to connect with other survivors and share stories of hope.

Cancer patient, Jinky Tyrrell , Mrs. SCV USA Royal Princess waves to the attendees as she is announces at the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital annual Cancer Survivor Celebration held at the Outpatient Surgery building in Valencia on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“I myself am a cancer patient,” who was lucky enough to reverse the quickly spreading disease, Tyrrell said, adding the experience helped her find a purpose in life — which is a feeling that many survivors in attendance Thursday shared.

“I want to help other people and I want to get to know cancer patients and doctors so I can connect them,” Tyrell said. “I want to reach out and give inspiration to all cancer patients to dream and not think of cancer as a terminal death sentence.”

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