Cancer survivors find comfort, camaraderie at CSCNT

Saying someone is a cancer survivor can involve many different experiences and circumstances. During National Cancer Survivors Month, we’re highlighting two Cancer Support Community North Texas participants – one a 27-year survivor and the other who recently received news that she’s cancer free.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, Linda Abramson Evans became an advocate for CSCNT when it first launched in 2002 as Gilda’s Club North Texas. She participated in a speakers’ bureau to spread the word about the club and invite others to participate.

“The clubhouse is such a beautiful, comfortable space, and I’ve enjoyed going to events and hanging out there,” says Linda (pictured, right, with CSCNT CEO Mirchelle Louis). “It’s just so peaceful – a respite from a busy day or difficult medical issues.”

After more than two decades, Linda still keeps information about CSCNT handy in case she meets someone who could use it. She recalls a friend she referred to CSCNT recently telling her that our services have been a blessing.

Attending CSCNT’s National Cancer Survivors Day celebration this month, Linda says, “I still relate to others who have been through cancer and are going through it now, and I really enjoyed the camaraderie and the joy of an event purely for fun and relaxation.”

Linda is grateful to be a longtime survivor. After her first cancer screening at age 41, her medical providers found breast cancer in its early stages, and the treatment was highly effective.  Many of her friends have not been as fortunate. This includes her husband, who died last year from late-stage pancreatic cancer. She is currently thinking about joining CSCNT’s Living with Loss support group. “We took turns taking care of each other,” Linda says of her almost 43-year marriage.

Along with CSCNT advocacy, survivorship brought Linda an opportunity to participate in local and national Sing for the Cure concerts, originally created by the Turtle Creek Chorale and The Women’s Chorus of Dallas. She welcomes any interested singers nationwide to join her in a 25th anniversary performance of Sing for the Cure at Lincoln Center in New York on November 23, 2025. Contact her at linda.abramson.evans@gmail.com for more details.

Linda recently retired from 25 years of teaching international students at Southern Methodist University and continues her long-term voluntary work in refugee advocacy and other human rights activities.

Speaking the same language

On June 12, CSCNT participant Nancy Loera received news that she doesn’t need to continue treatment as there’s no evidence of cancer in her body. This comes as a welcome relief after what she calls a “really long two years” when she received a stage 4 ovarian cancer diagnosis, both her parents died, and her sister was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.

Nancy Loera (third from left) and others at the CSCNT Cancer Survivors Day celebration
Nancy Loera (third from left) and others at the CSCNT Cancer Survivors Day celebration

CSCNT has helped Nancy through these difficult times. She is a regular attendee of the Living with Cancer support group.

“I remember one day I was feeling so down about everything going on last summer, and the CSCNT group had lunch with me,” Nancy says. “It had been months since I shared lunch with anyone. I received nothing but love. Everybody at CSCNT makes you feel like you are so important, and you don’t have to go through this alone.”

By going to the support group every week, Nancy says she’s stopped comparing herself with the person she was before she was diagnosed. She now has confidence to love the changing body she has after radiation treatment.

“Cancer survivors speak the same language,” Nancy says. “I have so many wonderful people in my life, but they don’t understand because they haven’t experienced this reality.”

Nancy also has participated in CSCNT’s Cancer Survivors Day celebrations, community meals, a Mexican Independence Day fiesta and supported the volunteer appreciation day event, among other activities.

“I can go to CSCNT and bring all the baggage and know someone has my back,” Nancy says. “Because of this gift, I can be a great aunt, a great sister. I can do the best job performance at work. Life becomes better every day.”