Sparkt Bridges

Cancer Survivor Spreading Hope With "Celebration Bells"

Man who beat cancer puts "celebration bells" in hospitals so other cancer patients have the emotional opportunity to ring one, like he did, when they complete treatment.

This story is part of a bi-weekly series that celebrates people who are reaching across a divide to "build bridges" with those different from themselves, or people they may never know. The Sparkt Bridges series is made possible with the support of UPMC.

Maybe it's a coincidence that Larry Bridges' last name is "Bridges." Or maybe it's not. But he's building bridges between people he will never know and who will never meet each other, but have something in common: they are cancer survivors.

Larry's organization Another Shoulder raises money to put celebration bells in cancer treatment centers. He had done 10 bell donations when we met him, and we got to be a part of the emotional ceremony for bell number eleven. (refresh your browser if video doesn't appear)

Larry founded Another Shoulder last August. He was inspired by his own experience ringing a celebration bell at the end of his treatment for Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. When he found out that many hospitals and clinics don't have bells, he felt God was calling him to change that.

"As a cancer survivor I feel it's my duty to go out and let people know that there's hope." Larry Bridges, Founder, Another Shoulder

Larry's goal is to donate and place 50 bells this year. After that he wants to place bells in all 50 states. He also has big plans for National Cancer Survivor's Day , Sunday, June 2. He wants everyone across the country -- all over the world if he can do it -- to make a big noise at noon, their time. He says setting phone alarms, ringing church bells, even activating fire sirens all at the same time will celebrate survivors and call attention to the fact that cancer is survivable. Stay tuned for more details!

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The Sparkt Bridges Project is produced with the generous support of UPMC. Life Changing Medicine.

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