Fighting cancer

Published 1:27 pm Tuesday, December 2, 2008

By Staff
As I think about the people I am grateful for and the blessings I have been given, I can’t help but think about the people who live around me.
My husband and I are from Martin County originally, but after he graduated from North Carolina State University (Go Pack!) in 1963, we moved. We’ve lived in many different states in many areas of this great country. We’ve known people from many walks of life. But the compassion and caring spirit that we have experienced here has no match. Whether it be from “dyed in the wool” eastern North Carolinians or newly transplanted folks, such as our friends from Cypress Landing who chose to live in this “piece of heaven,” the one thing that is a common thread is a true spirit of selflessness and giving.
When we moved here we had many goals in mind for our lives at what we saw as perhaps our last move. We wanted to renew our lives with our families here. We wanted to join a church that we felt made a difference in peoples lives. We wanted to enjoy this beautiful area that we had loved as kids. We wanted to find a perfect place to live and have our grandkids learn to love this Pamlico River as we did, and of course, love to be at Gramps and Grammie’s home just like we loved being with our grandparents. We wanted to find a place we could play golf and make some new friends. I’ve listed five things we wanted to do. We’ve accomplished most of them. We see family as often as we can. Our church, First Christian Church, is a church beyond the walls in many ways, we are involved in the Christians In Action which touches many through community outreach, especially our furniture ministry. We love our place on the Pamlico in Blounts Creek. Our 12 grandkids and five great-grandkids love being with us — crabbing, fishing, swimming and digging for sharks teeth. As members of Cypress Landing Golf Club, we again get to enjoy being outside, making new friends, and playing golf.
You may be wondering why I am writing this. The one thing neither one of us wanted was to be diagnosed with cancer two weeks apart in 2002. I am happy to tell you we are both cancer survivors. I had my last chemotherapy treatment on Aug. 15, 2002, and I have been cancer-free for over six years. I had my treatment at the old oncology center in the hospital, which was staffed by Dr. Jennie Crews and her “crew” of angel nurses. Now the oncology department is in the new state-of-the-art facility, and I’m happy to say Dr. Crews and her “crew” are still treating patients with the same loving care I had. My husband’s cancer reoccurred two years ago, but after radiation therapy he has been cancer-free.
So, you see anything to help cancer patients, survivors and their families is near and dear to our hearts. Cancer seems to touch every life around us in some way. When the CIA members heard about the Patients Assistance Fund at the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center, we knew we wanted to help those whose lives are impacted by that horrible disease that takes so many forms — cancer. We made a donation to assist with gas money, groceries, medicines and so many other necessities that may keep a patient from treatment.
The CIA wanted to do more. We wanted to involve our whole community in this effort. We decided to have an area-wide yard sale to benefit this fund. The WDN ran a brief description about our plan. But you ran with this idea! You told your friends and neighbors. You sent e-mails to your friends, to your church members and to your association members. We had a tent in front of the Clyde Roberson Mission Center for 10 days for your donations. Every day the tent had to be emptied because you answered the call, you saw the need, you gave! People didn’t just respond from Beaufort County, one woman took off work and came from Swan Quarter with her donations.
Thanks to all of you, a check for $2,500 will be presented to the Patient Assistance Fund of the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center. Cancer might grab us and those we love, but there are many ways we can fight back.