JACKSON, N.J. — The Runaway Mine Train, one of the oldest, most popular roller coasters at New Jersey's Six Flags Great Adventure, was lined with handprints.
Each one told a story for a different person who is a cancer survivor.
On Sunday, more than 200 cancer survivors visited the park to ride the coaster, which they called a symbol of hope.
"It's wonderful to have so many survivors and their friends and support system here as we celebrate your strength to fight and continue fighting," said Dr. John F. Bonamo, executive vice president, and chief medical and quality officer, for RWJBarnabas Health. He said his joy Sunday was personal. He himself is a cancer survivor.
The event was organized by RWJBarnabas Health, the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Six Flags Great Adventure. As part of the Coasters for Cancer campaign, the park will put a spotlight on cancer survivorship, education and prevention.
During the summer season, park visitors who ride the Runaway Mine Train will be able to pay tribute to cancer survivors by sharing photos on a specially designed Snapchat geofilter and #coastersforcancer on other social media platforms.
"I loved it," said Nicole Ginyard, 42, of Queens, New York, after she rode on the coaster.
More than 15.5 million people are living with cancer in the United States today, according to a press release issued by the campaign.
Among the survivors Sunday was Christina Fichner, 29, and Amanda Ferraro, 31, both of New Jersey.
"It's great because you go through so much and you're fighting for your life and to be able to celebrate it and with so many people of different ages..." Ferraro said.
"It's empowering," Fichner said, finishing her sentence.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Cancer survivors share a roller coaster ride and hope at Six Flags Great Adventure