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Our hope for a cure is in the survivors

Take time to pause this next
weekend during the 19th An- nual Blooming Prairie Cancer Auctions and think about how cancer has affected you, your family and friends.
Cancer has indeed touched all of us in one way or another. Our hope to finding a cure and for protecting our loved ones in the future lies with our survi- vors. Our increasing number
of survivors shows proof that research is leading to more
cancer cures.
My mother, Alma Lestrud, was a cancer survivor. She fought cancer in the mid-1960s when cancer treatment and surgery were still in the experimental stages. My mother had a single mastectomy in 1964. She lived
30 more years and passed away at age 84, not because of cancer.
Dr. Harry B. Neel II of Albert Lea was
my mother’s physician, and he was a pioneer in treating all forms of cancer. He lived to be 103.
I took time recently to write down the names of family members and friends of ours who fought cancer.
My great niece Rhianna of Colorado died of colon cancer at the young age of 22. She was diagnosed just weeks before her pass- ing. She was the same age as my daughter who died of a liver disease (not cancer).
Panceatic cancer took three good friends of ours, Norman Tolzmann, Debbie Peter- son and Ken Jarvis. Norman fought the
cancer for a year. Debbie, wife
of our Lutheran pastor in For- est Lake, was diagnosed in July and died the following January. Ken last only three months after being diagnosed.
Thankfully, we also know many people who have success- fully battled cancer and are survivors. My brother-in-law (wife Judy’s brother) Craig was diagnosed eight years ago with throat cancer and had surgery soon after. His journey through
treatment was a struggle but he fought val- iantly and won the battle.
Judy and I and Judy’s sister Cindi (Han-
sen) accompanied Craig to a doctor appoint- ment in Rochester just months ago and
were elated to hear the doctor tell Craig: “You’re cured.”
As my fellow columnist LeMar Nelson would say, “A tip of the hat” to the Blooming Prairie Cancer Group for the work they do in helping victims of cancer.
It’s amazing how much time and effort are donated by the BP Cancer Group and by supporters of the group. The love of many people is sent to cancer victims by the many donations that are unselfishly made.
Thank you to everyone who has worked on these BP Cancer Group activities and thank you to everyone who has donated items to be auctioned on Sept. 6-7. Also, thanks to those of you who will buy items and thus, donate toward building on that a hope for a cure.


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