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The Clay County Advocate - Press-Flora, IL
  • Clay County Cancer Crusaders

  • Clay County Cancer Crusaders had a sunny day for their event.
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  • Weather cooperated, for a change, for the Clay County Cancer Crusaders event held in Flora's Library Park. After rain the past couple of years, the sun shone on this year's festivities. When all was said and done they raised a total of $14,000--approximately $7,500 from the event on Saturday and approximately $6,500 from a donation letter they sent out right before the event. They still have more money coming in. According to committee chair Nancy Mills this is the best they have done for the event itself.
    "Things are turning around for us," Mills stated. "We had great weather and a better crowd than in the past," Mills noted. "So I believe people are learning who we are and what our mission is."
    Chairman of the Clay County Crusaders Nancy Mills welcomed everyone to the event and recalled two people they have lost this year--Trish Grubaugh and Penny Denson. She recounted a couple of funny stories regarding these two individuals and recognized the Grubaugh family--Rich and his daughters Kaylee and Brooklyn.
    Breast cancer survivor Marge Kessler recalled her struggle to find someone to talk to after she was diagnosed more than 19 years ago.
    "It was 1995 before the Crossroads Cancer Center in Effingham," she recalled.
    She remembered finding a painful lump under her arm and a trip to see Dr. Don Bunnell. She related he was pretty sure what was wrong with her but referred her to a specialist.
    "I had 10 positive lymph nodes out of 20," she related. "I was a big tough farm gal slopping hogs and driving tractors."
    She indicated she felt at the time she couldn't have cancer. And she knew no one who had battled this disease.
    "I knew nothing of treatment and care," she recalled. "Everyone shied away from me."
    She noted she knew no one who could talk to about her questions and her fears.
    "There was no one my husband Jerry could talk to," she added.
    In 2000 the Clay County Cancer Support Group was founded and she is one of the founders and active members. That group offers $400 to everyone in cancer treatment to help pay for their gasoline expenses.
    "Be a friend and support someone with cancer," she concluded.
    Ben VanHyning opened the event with several numbers, including some country tunes. A variety of local talent entertained those attending this year's event.
    Several booths offered food and games in order to raise money for cancer support and cancer research.

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