In 2011, there were three people in my life diagnosed with cancer. My best friend, Doug Jackson, and a co-worker of mine were both diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. Another friend of mine, Debbie Rollins, was diagnosed with cancer.
Doug was a vibrant man. He owned his own business, Doug's Flowers and Gifts in Strong City. He made flower arrangements for the White House, was one of FTD's top 10 florists in the world, designed and built Tournament of Roses parade floats, was one of a handful of florists for the Atlanta Olympics, and competed in global floral competitions. He also was a volunteer for the chorus. Doug saw his doctor regularly and thought his PSA levels were being checked...they were not. When they discovered he had cancer, he was already in stage 4 and the cancer was spreading rapidly. He fought the cancer for over a year finally succumbing to it on May 14, 2012. He was 59 years old at the time of his death. Medical costs consumed his retirement and savings.
My co-worker in the Wichita Public Schools was a teacher for over 30 years. He spent his career teaching at-risk students and was popular with his students and co-workers. He is also a local Wichita business owner. His story turned out differently than Doug's. He was able to beat the cancer and is cancer free today.
Debbie Rollins lost her battle with cancer a few months after Doug had passed away. His death had hit her pretty hard. She called Doug her cancer buddy. They went with each other to their treatments. Doug and Debbie had been good friends for many years.
The work of organizations that provide support for cancer patients and their families and the research done to find cures and treatments for cancer are very important. That is why the Heart of America Men's Chorus has partnered up with the American Cancer Society to bring awareness about the efforts of this organization in the fight against cancer. With your help, we can help make more "happily ever afters" and lessen the pain of the other endings.
HOAMC will present "Red, White, and Cure" on June 27th and 28th at Newman University's Demattias Performance Hall.