Today is National Cancer Survivors Day®—an annual celebration of life for those who have survived cancer, a source of inspiration for those in the fight, a place of support for families, and an opportunity for communities to come together. On the first Sunday of June, communities across the country gather to celebrate and recognize cancer survivors, host events to raise awareness surrounding the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship, and celebrate how precious life is.
In 2022 we welcomed Yoli Origel—a 13-year survivor of Stage 3 breast cancer—to the Abide podcast to share her story.
(Click play below to listen to the entire 35-minute episode also featuring Jarrett Andretti on Spotify.)
Yoli is the founder and executive director of Cancer Kinship—a nonprofit dedicated to empowering cancer patients to confidently face their diagnosis through peer mentorship, individualized and group support, survivor education, and socialization. Cancer Kinship is a powerful community of cancer survivors—at any stage of their fight—braving the storm together with confidence and fearlessness.
Cancer Kinship shares much-needed support and resources for the survivor community in their e-newsletter – Kinner Circle. By empowering patients and survivors to take control of their health and future, Cancer Kinship strives to help the entire cancer community live longer, happier, and lives that influence others.
We asked Yoli how we—the Abide community—can better support cancer survivors on National Cancer Survivor’s Day® and always. Yoli encouraged us “to keep cancer survivors in prayer, reach out to them on this special day, and tell them just how much they mean to you.” She also reminded us to check-in with them regularly.
“Cancer survivors often deal with the after-effects of their treatments and surgeries, and may worry about an upcoming scan or cancer recurrence,” Yoli explained, “They may be struggling emotionally, physically, and sometimes feel alone in their continued battle to remain cancer-free.” Above all, just keep survivors in your thoughts and prayers. Like every human, they need to know that they are loved.
When Yoli completed her chemotherapy treatment, she made the decision to start celebrating her “cancer-versaries.” After a long walk on the beach, she looked out towards the ocean and started to pray. “I kept thinking that the Lord’s love for me was wider and deeper than the ocean in front of me.” Every year, Yoli returns to that same beach to celebrate.
And that’s exactly what National Cancer Survivors Day® is all about. On this first Sunday in June, we encourage you—even if you’ve never been affected by cancer—to join the celebration with these powerful Scriptures for healing.
A Promise of Blessing from Genesis 12:2-3
In Genesis 12, God makes a promise to Abraham, “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
God didn’t make this promise because Abraham had earned it. Abraham and his family—just like the rest of us—were far from perfect. God promises a gift of grace anyways because he wants to make your home a place of peace, not of pain. Click play below to meditate on this promise with us, while you invite Jesus to bring peace into your home and heart.
Click play to listen to the 2-minute version of this meditation on Genesis 12:2-3 with Abide narrator Bonnie Curry.
A Promise of Renewal from Isaiah 40:31
If you’re feeling abandoned by God lately, you’re not alone. Isaiah reminds us that “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
While you wait for God’s rescue, he is at work in you—changing you, teaching you to depend on him, restoring you, and showing his faithfulness.
Even when it feel’s like you’re still waiting on him, he’s there. Listen to the below meditation and breathe in this powerful scripture for healing. As you listen, imagine God sitting next to you—waiting with you and walking beside you in your fight.
Click play to listen to the 2-minute version of this meditation based on Isaiah 40:31 with Bonnie Curry.
A Promise of Strength from Psalm 18:39
In this powerful Psalm for healing, we’re reminded that as Christians, we’re always in training to fight the battle against darkness and evil with the armor of Christ. Psalm 18:39 says, “For you equipped me with strength for battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.”
Meditate on this Psalm—asking Jesus to renew your heart and mind with holy and good thoughts, as you’re filled with the comfort and strength of the Holy Spirit. Follow along with the following guided meditation, as you submit yourself to God’s plan, breathing in the strength and courage of our great creator.
Click play to listen to the 2-minute version of this meditation with Abide narrator Melissa Disney on Psalm 18:39.
A Promise of Peace from Philippians 4:6-7
For cancer survivors, the worry of related long-term health risks and the fear of cancer returning is an ongoing struggle. If anxious thoughts are overwhelming your mind—following you around all day—breathe in the comforting instructions of apostle Paul.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
As your worries begin to pile up today, greet them, but then hand them over to God. They’re not your problem anymore. You are safe and secure in the arms of a God who is ever-faithful to you. Click play and meditate on Philippians 4—asking God to grant you peace.
Click play to listen to the 2-minute version of this meditation on Philippians 4:6-7 with Bonnie Curry.
A Promise of Restoration from Joel 2:25
If you’ve ever wanted to go back in time and start over, hear the words of Joel 2. “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.”
At times, God sends locust into our lives—trials, troubles and tests. But now, the locust have eaten at you long enough. Allow God’s light to shine on you, as you let his grace and mercy in. He promises to repay you (and your friends and family) for the years that locusts may have stolen.
God uses these trials to stretch and strengthen our faith. As you think about your own fight, meditate with us on God’s ability to restore. Believe that what lies ahead is better than what has been, and trust in his great plan.
Click play to listen to the 2-minute version of this meditation on Joel 2:25 with Bonnie Curry.
A Promise of Life from 1 Thessalonians 4:13
Because of Christ, we have hope that death is not the end. Our hope is not dreamy, wishful thinking though. It’s a confident assurance—based on Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice—that although death is the final enemy, it’s not the end.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.”
It’s hard. When we lose someone we love, we do grieve, of course. But even though we grieve and suffer, we do not despair. We know that we follow a God who brings life from death. That’s what God does because that’s what he’s promised to do.
Grief is real, but so is hope. Meditate on that promise, and thank Jesus for giving us this gift—helping us to live in hope, not worry.
Click play to listen to the 2-minute version of this meditation with Abide narrator Tyler Boss on 1 Thessalonians 4:13.
For access to full-length healing prayers and meditations, check out all the features and 5-star reviews in the App Store or Google Play, then use this link to received 25% off a premium subscription. Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed with cancer or you’re a long-term survivor, find healing, comfort, and strength in God’s Word anytime in the Abide app. With more than 1500 biblical meditations to choose from, plus 350+ comforting, Bible-based bedtime stories, spiritual comfort is just a click away. Your path may be dark right now, but God’s light shines brighter than ever. May God’s peace surround you on this National Cancer Survivor’s Day® and always.