More than 800 cancer survivors spent Tuesday afternoon at Lambeau Field as part of Cancer Survivors' day.
As part of the celebration sponsored by the Green Bay Packers, Philip & Elizabeth Hendrickson Foundation, K.C. Stock Foundation, and St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center, Packers President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Harlan spoke to those in attendance.
Harlan was diagnosed with melanoma behind his right ear and on the back of his shoulder two years ago.
"I'm honored to be with you today," he said. "I wish you great health."
Harlan said he developed cancer in part because of his exposure to the sun. In the 1950s and 60s, few knew the risks of skin cancer and took less precaution. Harlan spent much of his time golfing and caddying under the sun often without a shirt. Now he says he wears a large-brimmed hat.
"I look like I'm going into the jungle looking for elephants," he quipped.
Prayer to St. Jude, the Saint responsible for lost and impossible causes, helped him endure the treatment.
"I think I really put St. Jude to the test because I prayed to him daily just to help me get through the surgery," he told the captive audience.
Fully recovered, Harlan has turned his full attention to the Packers, a franchise he has steered toward 12 consecutive seasons of .500-or-better success for the first time in team history since the 1930s and 1940s. However, he credited former members of the Packers -- general manager Ron Wolf, head coach Mike Holmgren and defensive end Reggie White, in addition to quarterback Brett Favre -- for the team's success.
"They're the ones who returned the dignity to the Green Bay Packer franchise," he said. "They put this team back where it belongs among the elite of the National Football League."
After Harlan's speech, those in attendance tailgated in the Lambeau Field concourse. They also were encouraged to take laps around the field and visit the Packers Hall of Fame.