Counting your blessings is easier said than done when you or a loved one is battling cancer. But it’s those individuals that Rapides Cancer Center will focus on during “Blessings of Life.”
This annual ecumenical memorial service, now in its fifth year, is designed for cancer patients, survivors, family members and friends across central Louisiana.

“During the Thanksgiving season, we’re reminded to take pause and recognize our many blessings in life,” said Karen Z. Hathorn, RN, Rapides Regional Medical Center, director of education. “This memorial service is a way for our cancer patients, their friends and families to celebrate the faith, hope and healing they experience on a daily basis.”
The service will be held Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. in the Emmanuel Baptist Church chapel, located at 430 Jackson St., Alexandria. It will include music, poetry and a time of silent reflection.

“It isn’t a traditional worship service. It includes various faith traditions because cancer doesn’t differentiate between denominations,” said Lee Weems, D.Min., Emmanuel Baptist Church associate pastor.
The service also offers participants an environment where it’s OK to grieve.
“This is really a time and a place where we can honor the memory of lost and loved ones,” Hathorn said. “Some use it as a way of letting go.”

“Grief often combines both tears and laughter,” Weems said. “We fashion the service around the idea that each person who comes into our life leaves a blessing. In the struggle of life, a lot of times the biggest blessing is people.”
This event is open to anyone who’s lost a loved one to cancer, is currently undergoing treatment or is a cancer survivor. The family, friends and caregivers of those touched by cancer are also invited to attend.
Refreshments will be served following the program. Pre-registration is encouraged. Please call 769-3106, or register online at