The Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center

On the Wings of Hope: Celebrating Survivors’ Day

Over 100 people from greater Waterbury and beyond joined in community and celebration Saturday, June 10—Survivors’ Day at the Leever Cancer Center. The event honored cancer survivors, remembered those who have completed their journey, and celebrated the love, heart, and hope that patients, friends, survivors, and family share. The day culminated with the release of dozens of monarch butterflies.

2017 Survivors Day Butterfly Release

“Butterflies have come to represent many things across time and across cultures,” notes Deborah Parkinson, Operations Manager at the Leever Cancer Center. “They speak to transformation, renewal, gentle strength, and tremendous beauty. The monarch butterfly in particular is widely recognized as a symbol of hope, something that guides and fortifies many of our patients and families.”

The event featured poignant messages of hope, love, and remembrance, inspirational musical performances, and a sense of shared experience and common understanding. Patients, survivors, friends, and family members filled the Leever Cancer Center grounds, from the atrium to the Meditation Garden, decked in butterfly-themed clothing and jewelry. In their own space and in their own way, each released their butterfly at the appointed moment.

“This was truly a special day for the community and for the Leever Cancer Center,” said Executive Director Kevin Kniery. “It was a time of both reflection and celebration, of healing and of hope. Being there, surrounded by this remarkable group of people, was testament to the good and meaningful work we have been doing for more than 15 years.”

View our video recap of the event below: