'I want to do something for those with cancer'

'I want to do something for those with cancer'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Over 14.5 million Americans have survived a battle with cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Cancer patients, survivors and their supporters filled the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute Saturday for a special National Cancer Survivors Day tribute.

Many in the crowd on Saturday were survivors, who are now dedicated to help find a cure.

The group Boat/Bike For The Cure had their boat parked in the lot outside. The non-profit is set to retrace part of Lewis & Clark’s journey on the Oregon Trail this July to raise money for the Oregon Cancer Foundation.

Survivors signed the boat, so they could symbolically join the team as they make the journey to help cancer patients.

Fred Fort said he’s on board for the trek to honor his younger sister and brother-in-law who died of cancer-related illnesses. He will also be on the river for his wife, a cancer survivor.

“It really opened my eyes, really put me to where I want to do something for ... those with cancer. To get them help, hopefully get a cure. I know they need lots of help, so this will do that for them,” said Fort.

One of those showing support was myeloma survivor Dr. Jan Stafl. Instead of asking "why", the marathon runner said he realized "it just is."

“It made me closer to my family. It made me value what's important in life. I would not wish it on anybody, but when a challenge like that occurs it’s important to take it as personal. I would say as a spiritual growth,” Stafl said.