By: Allison Shanabrough
The countdown to Winston County’s Relay for Life begins now as local cancer survivors are featured each week. A different person from the community who has been victorious in their battle with cancer will be featured weekly. The Relay for Life committee wants to spotlight hometown cancer survivors to create an awareness about the event to be held on June 8. The purpose of the Survivor Stories Series is to show the importance of being an active part of Relay for Life and the fight against cancer. The first local survivor featured is Tiara Love. She was diagnosed with stage I Hodgkin’s lymphoma on October 24, 2008, and had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation. Telling her story, Love stated, “Chemotherapy is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. Radiation wasn’t as harsh, but it still had its disadvantages.” During her battle with cancer, Love had to endure having a chemport put in her chest and went through treatment every day. She lost all of her hair and taste buds, as well as some feeling in her hands and fingers. Her sense of hearing and smell were amplified because of the loss of taste, which caused her to get irritated and nauseous very easily. Other side effects included mood swings and loss of appetite. Love has been in remission four years as of February 24, 2012. When asked why it is important for people to be involved with Relay for Life, she said it helps people to get the necessary treatments and care they need to beat cancer and continue to live their life as everyone else. She believes that participation in Relay for Life gives assurance that cancer patients and survivors are not alone and never forgotten. Love added, “Without Relay for Life, cancer would be seen as a definite death sentence to some, but thanks to the event and its positive outlook, it helps shed a light of hope on the lives of those who are being or have been affected by cancer. I would encourage everyone to be a part of Relay for Life. The more participants, the more success we will have.” 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.