By: Allison Shanabrough
Get inspired by the stories of cancer survivors from Winston County because there are only five weeks left until Relay for Life. As the countdown continues, Dianne Gregory is this week’s featured cancer survivor. Similar to last Loraine Guyse, featured last week, Gregory has battled cancer on three different occasions. Her first diagnosis was 1977, then 1983, and again in 1990. In 1977, she was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare pancreatic cancer, which is usually fatal. Because of the rarity of the type of cancer, Gregory did not receive treatment other than undergoing immunotherapy. She was required to have 6 injections of white blood cells to help build up her immune system. While having a non-cancer related procedure in 1983, doctors found carcinoma cells. Again, Gregory received no treatment for the cancer, but the doctors ran tests to see if the cancer had spread. The third time she faced cancer was in 1990, when Gregory was told she had skin cancer. During her fight against cancer, Gregory was seen by doctors at Baptist Hospital in Jackson, where she would go for scans as often as every three to six months. She stated, “I had a great surgeon that believed in prayer, and I think that had a lot to do with my survival.” She has been cancer free in 1995. When asked how she was personally effected by cancer, Gregory replied, “It made me realize who is in control. I know that I am blessed each day that I’m alive.” She also said that she had previously taken her health for granted but doesn’t since realizing life is so short. Gregory added that is made her appreciate her family and friends more. Her advice to people battling cancer is to never give up. Gregory also encourages those dealing with cancer to understand that God is in control because that can make all the difference. As for friends and family, her best advice is to be there to listen to your loved one because most of the time other people don’t want to hear about health problems. Gregory said, “People tend to shy away from the problem of cancer, but it can effect anybody.” That is why she believes Relay for Life is an important event. According to Gregory, the event brings out a lot of awareness and is a positive way to raise money to help with research to prevent or even cure cancer. In addition, the Relay for Life event is a good way to show cancer survivors and patients there are other people going through the same thing. Any community member who wishes to share their story of beating cancer, please e-mail Allison Shanabrough at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Relay for Life, visit www.relayforlife.org/ winstonms or call Brandi Krajewski at (662)779-5111. Relay Rummage Sale The East Louisville Baptist Church Relay for Life Team will be holding a Rummage Sale on Saturday, May 5 at 7 a.m. It will be set up in the parking lot of East Louisville Baptist Church with a rain location in the gym. Bargain hunters come on out, rain or shine, to help out a good cause.