WORCESTER, Mass. - Sunday is National Cancer Survivor’s Day, and ahead of the occasion, Saint Vincent Hospital took some time to celebrate their own survivors.

At the hospital’s Healing Garden, a cookout and raffle were held Friday afternoon with dozens of cancer survivors spending some time together. The occasion is meant to recognize everyone who’s living with a history of cancer, while raising awareness of the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face.

“It’s time for us to pause and be thankful and grateful for the opportunity to get to know each other,” said Patty Ellis, director of the cancer center. “As care providers, we love to be able to celebrate milestones with our patients, but we also like to celebrate the people who helped those patients along the way."

“There are no words to express just how amazing it is to be able to be here with everyone and to finally be able to be here in person,” said Karen Coveny, a cancer survivor. “2019 was the last time we were here, it’s just unbelievable.”

Survivors said being able to spend time with others who understand what they’re going through is important, and during the pandemic, it was tough not being able to be there for people who were recently diagnosed.