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Cancer Survivors Feted at Dinner

Cancer Survivors Feted at Dinner

HUNTINGDON — Approximately 111 survivors of cancer and their caregivers were the guests of honor during the 2018 Relay For Life Survivors Dinner held at the Carroll County Civic Center.

Each of the cancer survivors remember when they first heard the words “you have cancer.” Each one’s experience is different, but, thanks to research on the disease, the survival rates have improved: 25 percent reduction in cancer deaths since 1991.

The meal was catered by Mallard’s Restaurant of Huntingdon, desserts were made by members of the churches Davis Chapel and First United Methodist of McKenzie, Mt. Zion Methodist Church, and Bethel Baptist.

Survivors were each given a gift and a t-shirt to wear during the annual Relay For Life event on June 22 at the Carroll County Civic Center. For the second year, it is a single Relay For Life event, a combination of Carroll North and Carroll South Relay teams. That reflects a return to the inaugural event held in McKenzie when the Relay was one event for the entire county.

On Friday, June 22, survivors will again be honored during opening ceremonies and by leading the first lap around the walking track at the Civic Center/ Fairgrounds.

Honorary Survivors for the Relay include: Aline Sullivan of Huntingdon, who was first diagnosed with uterine cancer in June 2005. She said she thought her world had come to an end, but her faith in God helped her keep a positive attitude. She said she prayed to God to let her live to see her grandson, Jacob, grow, and later her other grandchildren Finn and Cora grow. She wanted to be around for her husband and three sons.

David and Brenda Johnson of McKenzie are both survivors. Brenda was diagnosed with breast cancer and David with prostate cancer.

Brenda had 31 rounds of radiation and David had surgery.

David and Brenda said they thanked God for their blessings, but did recall the shock with the initial diagnosis.

Brenda said she kept a positive attitude and lived one day at a time. David said adopted a warrior’s mindset and focused on the present, because its all we have.

Preston Yarbrough of Huntingdon was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006. He had surgery to remove the prostate.

He said he maintained his daily activities and did not let the diagnosis consume him. He put it all in God’s hands.

Charles Leslie of Westport was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2002. He underwent 16 chemotherapy treatments and was hospitalized for a week. He said he tried to stay occupied by doing enjoyable things, reading books and magazines, and watching Cardinal baseball. After receiving the news of the diagnosis, his first thoughts were “when do we start treatment? Let’s fix this!” His advice is to tell others that God is in control of the results and a lot of us have made it.

Jack Smith of the West Carroll area was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin B type lymphoma in October 2017 and colon cancer is 2015. He had surgery for the colon cancer and chemotherapy for the lymphoma.

“I called out to Jesus and He was there. He kept me positive.

When he first received the diagnosis, he thought “oh no!” Then I gave it to the Lord and did not dwell on it. He concluded, “There is hope!”

Frank Hopper of Hollow Rock was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2017. He had surgery in Nashville and a portion of his colon was removed.

He said he did not worry too much about the diagnosis since he had faith in the Lord, and knew He would take care of “me.”

He said he is thankful for the fecal occult blood test, a screening that saved his life. He was also very thankful for the support of his church.

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