The power and impact of Leever’s inaugural On the Wings of Hope Survivors Day Butterfly Release ceremony in 2017 ensured its return in 2018. On August 4, more than 100 survivors, caregivers, family and friends gathered at the Leever Cancer Center to celebrate the hope and joy that survivorship brings, while honoring the memories of those who have passed.
“This event has become quite meaningful for our community,” said Deborah Parkinson, Operations Director at the Leever Cancer Center. “It is both personal and powerful. It is a gathering filled with messages of hope conveyed through poetry, song, readings and fellowship. This year, we also read the names of those being honored and remembered through the butterfly release, which was especially poignant.”
Throughout history and across cultures, the butterfly has been seen as a symbol of renewal, transformation, transcendence and hope. In Asian cultures, the butterfly is a symbol of long life. Participants at the August 4 event were invited to purchase and release butterflies to honor, remember or celebrate a loved one. For each, it was a moment of peace and a time of personal reflection.