Survivors

Susan Gonzalez and Florence Strang, authors of 100 Perks of Having Cancer, plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It, spoke at the 23rd annual Tbaytel Luncheon of Hope on Friday. The book is a holistic approach to cancer recovery, looking at body, mind and spirit.

While undergoing treatment for stage three breast cancer, Florence Strang started a blog to keep her spirits up.

“I challenged myself to find 100 good things, or 100 perks, while I was going through the journey,” she said. “To make sure I stayed on track with that commitment, I posted them on a blog.”

Strang started following another blog called The Savvy Sister, written by another breast cancer survivor and nurse — Susan Gonzalez.

Gonzalez wrote about health tips to get women through treatment and also help reduce the risk or recurrence.

Eventually Strang suggested they team up and write a book, and on Friday, the co-authors of 100 Perks of Having Cancer, plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It, were the keynote speakers at the 23rd annual Tbaytel Luncheon of Hope at the Victoria Inn.

The book is a holistic approach to cancer recovery, looking at body, mind and spirit, said Strang.

Gonzalez said the pair’s message to the soldout crowd on Friday was one of hope and empowerment.

“Hopefully through our talk, people will see that hope isn’t just a state of mind but this state of mind can actually have physiological effects on the body,” she said. “That’s one of our main messages.”

Both women were impressed with the turnout at the event.

“I have to say in all of the places we’ve been and promotions we’ve done, I’ve never seen anything like Thunder Bay for the support the people give and the pride they take,” said Strang.

Gonzalez said it was inspiring to know there are so many people supporting breast cancer research.

“Everyone I think has been touched by breast cancer in one way or another and it’s really encouraging,” she said. “It makes us really happy that everyone is coming together to support this cause.”

Luncheon of Hope committee member Lindsey Wychopen said all funds raised at the event go to the Northern Cancer Fund and over the last 23 years, the luncheon was raised more than $300,000.

“Florence and Susan are going to bring laughs and tears and a really good experience for the guests this year,” she added.

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