Real People, Real Stories
Thyroid cancer survivor
With that one word – cancer – my world changed forever. I found this out in 1990, when I checked into the hospital for a routine procedure. After six hours of surgery, I woke up to find that doctors had removed a cancerous thyroid, parathyroid and over 20 malignant lymph nodes from my neck, chest and brain stem. I knew that cancer was a possibility, but I never imagined that it would happen to me.
My first thoughts were of my 8-year-old son, Tommy. Would I live to see him graduate from high school? Would I grow old with my husband? Would I have a chance to tell my family and friends how much they meant in my life?
The first place I turned to for help was our church. It was there that I heard about CanCare, a new ministry that helped people just like me.
I was matched with a CanCare volunteer who understood my pain, my anguish and my fears. Having that one-on-one relationship with someone who had gone through what I was going through and survived, gave me so much encouragement. When everyone else heard that word – cancer – and thought the worst, I looked into my CanCare volunteer’s eyes and saw hope, humor and the grace of God. For the first time since my diagnosis, I had hope. My cancer was not an end, it was a new beginning.
Once I recovered, I went through CanCare training and became a volunteer. In 1991, I was hired as the first full-time employee of CanCare and in 1997, I accepted the role of President and CEO of the organization. I am as passionate today as I was when I first started offering CanCare’s message of Hope. I believe God wanted me to use my cancer experience as a stepping stone in my life, not a stumbling block. My vision for CanCare is to have this service in every hospital, every congregation and every corporation, so that no one suffers alone with this disease.
CanCare has been serving people with cancer since 1990. All services are confidential and free of charge. To talk to someone surviving your diagnosis, click here.