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National Cancer Survivors Day


From its small beginnings as a grassroots survivorship movement in 1987, National Cancer Survivors Day is now one of the largest cancer survivor celebrations in the world.  Today marks the 34th annual National Cancer Survivors Day. The nonprofit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation rallies its forces and resources to promote National Cancer Survivors Day in the U.S. and worldwide.

The NCSD Foundation bills the holiday as a “celebration of life” where survivors — described as anyone who has a history of the disease, from the point of diagnosis through the remainder of life — gather with friends, families, and supporters to raise awareness, spread information, provide services and honor other survivors, all to show that life after a cancer diagnosis can be full and fruitful.

Traditionally, NCSD celebrations have included parades, carnivals, health fairs, awareness walks, and other community events. The COVID-19 pandemic means National Cancer Survivors Day celebrations will likely be different this year – but there are still loads of ways to bring your community together. We’ve put together this guide for planning virtual and socially distanced NCSD events.

Socially Distanced Event Ideas


Have a drive-in celebration which can be presented in the form of a movie, a comedy show, a concert, or other entertainment. For a movie, project a movie onto a screen on the side of a building and provide contactless popcorn delivery.

Drive-Through Celebration

Encourage attendees to decorate their cars like a parade, offer a goodie bag, have on-site entertainment such as live music or a DJ.

Photo Booth

Set up a photo backdrop so people can come and take a selfie in front of it. Get creative! But, remember not to use props that need to be held.

Have a Picnic

Encourage guests to bring their blankets and/or folding outdoor chairs and sit in pods under trees. This can minimize costs for tables and chairs as well as ensure social distancing. For food, have everyone pack their own or have pre-packaged meals at multiple pick-up stations.

Gardening/Planting Class

Allow attendees to play in the dirt while contributing a good deed to Mother Nature. Provide soil, mini biodegradable holders, and a variety of flowers to be planted. Set up one large table for supplies to be picked up and then dispersed to their own area to do the planting.

Register with the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation to get exclusive access to free welcome brochures, Cancer Survivor Resource Guides, copies of Coping with Cancer magazine’s May/June issue to distribute to the cancer survivors in your community, as well as the NCSD Merchandise Catalog, where you can buy the official NCSD 2021 t-shirt and other unique keepsakes.



Filed Under: Events, Healthcare, diseases, awareness