Ringing the bell for cancer


POSTED: Friday, August 15, 2014 - 5:46pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 15, 2014 - 6:08pm

It was a busy day at Texas Oncology- Tyler. The center celebrated life. Patients, old and new, supported those who were finally cancer free. Survivors rung a bell. The bell is a symbol for the survivors. Betty Rochelle is a 17-year cancer survivor who rang the bell.

"It symbolizes that you're cancer free, and it's hope. It's just the sound of it. You get a wonderful feeling," said Rochelle.

Tyler's Oncology Cancer Center started the tradition back in the 1990s. Donald Richards is a doctor at the center. He was there when the center first opened.

"It's traditionally when the patient reached the milestone of they have completed chemotherapy, and so it's a very joyous time. The nurses get excited about it," said Richards.

"You've been through all this, all of the tests, all of the chemo and radiation. You've made it," said Rochelle.

The tradition was so popular that other hospitals adopted it.

"Take pride and joy in the great successes. We're getting more and more successes all the time," said Richards.

Jean Craig is still waiting to right the bell.

"I'm looking for the end of the chemo treatments," said Craig.

The bell gives her hope for that time.

"It will be exciting," said Craig.

It will be a time when she can finally tell everyone she has made it.

"It gives them something to look forward to," said Rochelle.

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