A champion is defined as “a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition,” and we can think of several champions in the sports world.
However, there are champions who have battled and defeated much greater opponents than 300 pound linemen, and they are “Champions for Life.”
Emanuel Medical Center’s annual Women’s Cancer Awareness Night Out was hosted on Tuesday night, with hundreds of champions being honored for the battle they’ve won.
Kicking off the night was a procession, where cancer survivors were honored and given an Olympic-style medal for their strength to battle and defeat their cancer.
“There are no champions like the ones that walked across that stage,” said Sharokina Shams, a reporter for KCRA and emcee of the event.
Shams, who emceed last year’s event, would update guests on her life over that last year, but first… she had to take a selfie.
So she and everyone in attendance could remember the night, Shams first took selfies with the crowd behind her and then encouraged the audience to take some selfies of their own — and they gladly participated.
The theme of the night, Champions for Life: Strength of Body, Mind, and Spirit, was embodied by both speakers of the night — featured speaker and Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller and new CEO of Emanuel Sue Micheletti, who each shared their own battle with cancer.
Micheletti, who was announced as the new CEO of Emanuel on Aug. 1, discussed the difficulty of her battle.
“That call when the doctor says ‘you have breast cancer’ is a difficult thing to endure,” said Micheletti, adding that she was thankful that her family was by her side at the time.
Micheletti has been out of treatment for 16 months and shared her excitement that Emanuel has a cancer center. Since battling her cancer, Micheletti said she has been much more serious about her personal health and recommended the same for everyone in attendance.
“I want to encourage you all to take your health very seriously,” said Micheletti.
Health continued to be the message when Miller took the stage to share her personal battle.
Miller, who is the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history, has competed at the highest level in her sport and credits that to helping her win her battle with cancer.
Much like Micheletti, Miller advocated everyone take their health seriously. Miller said she nearly cancelled the very exam that lead to the discovery of her ovarian cancer.
“I found that making my health a priority is not being selfish,” said Miller.
At the end of the night Miller was awarded with another gold medal for her collection — this time for being a champion against cancer.
Along with all of the honored with medals, one special survivor was honored by the Turlock Firefighters Local #2434.
Jill Norman, a fourth-grade teacher, was presented with the Pink Helmet Award. The award is presented to a someone who represents the characteristics of a firefighter, including compassion, bravery, honesty, commitment and courage. Norman has not only battled cancer herself, but has long participated in several cancer fundraisers and events, even before she was diagnosed herself.
Emanuel CEO Sue Micheletti shares the story of her personal battle with cancer. 10-7-14
Jill Norman was bestowed with the Pink Helmet Award by the Turlock Firefighters Local #2434. 10-7-14
Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller was awarded with another gold medal for being a champion in her battle with cancer. 10-7-14