photos by JODIE BRIM CREATIVE
Once you hear the words, ‘You have cancer,’ your world as you know it changes. ‘Normal’ for family and friends goes on, but your life comes to a halt and your journey to beating the disease begins. No matter your path of treatment, the journey to being well again takes a toll, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. But even after you become a survivor, your life is still forever changed. To recognize the journeys of cancer survivors and celebrate being on the other side of the disease, the American Cancer Society, local vendors, and Special Moments Venue, are partnering for the I Choose Joy Cancer Survivors’ Brunch on April 29th, 2023.
Ana Redfearn, owner and event planner at Special Moments Venue, wanted her space to be used to bring groups together in the community. “During a time of prayer, I felt led to open up Special Moments Venue to groups to give back. My passion for this event was fueled by my interaction with a circle of cancer survivors who were positive, patient, and willing to share the struggles and triumphs of their individual journeys. I wanted to do something to highlight people who have the ability to choose joy in the midst of adversity. That was how the idea for the I Choose Joy brunch started,” said Ana. And there is a special group of ladies who have worked with Ana to make this dream into a reality, including Danielle Sowell, Carolyn Edmond, Jalisa Yountz, and Wiletta Friende.
At the brunch, “The floral arrangements were beautifully done by Green Bee Floral Design and Jodie Brim Creative was our photographer,” Ana noted. “Kyana Oduro of 24K Event Rentals in Greensboro helped pull things togethers and we had amazing desserts by Asia Grace of A Sensational Delight in Winston-Salem. This event was a good opportunity to build a community amongst the honorees and attendees,” Ana commented.
“The primary goal through the I Choose Joy brunch and event was to shower local cancer survivors with love and create a lovely and joyful atmosphere to truly celebrate all that they’ve so courageously overcome,” said Danielle Sowell, Senior Development Manager with the American Cancer Society. “We had the pleasure of working with Ana Redfearn, owner of Special Moments Venue, to be the venue of this incredible brunch. Our guests were escorted and introduced, followed by a photo with their loved ones in attendance. Then they enjoyed the live entertainment, by Cheers NC, and savored the delicious meal, prepared by Juicy Bird. Our guest speaker, Ray Singleton, singer and songwriter, shared his and his wife, Rosalyn’s, journey through Roz’s cancer and how a video of him serenading Roz went viral, inspiring others. It was a special and unique time to ultimately fellowship with each other.”
Through the I Choose Joy event and her time with cancer survivors Ana has seen that joy is contagious. “We are all going through something in life and sometimes one act of kindness can change lives. To our honorees, Psalms 30:5 says, ‘Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning!’ It was an honor to be part of this special event,” Ana stated.