Banking on a cure for cancer

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 12, 2000

Features Editor

Faye Galloway expected to be engaged in a battle with cancer. She just didn’t expect it to come so soon.

Her mother had breast cancer and all of her mother’s five brothers and sisters had different forms of the disease. Mrs. Galloway didn’t wonder if she would get cancer. She wondered when.

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"I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know it would come so early. I was 52 at the time, and to me, that’s rather young," she said, with a smile.

Mrs. Galloway was diagnosed with breast cancer Dec. 4, 1991 and had surgery on Dec. 11. Her father had died of congestive heart failure only seven months earlier.

She and her husband Broshie had been his caregivers for more than a year. Her father’s health, not her own, had been the concern. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, she was thrown into a battle for her life.

"It wasn’t a good year," Mrs. Galloway said. "My daddy had died and I found out I had cancer. I was numb. I lived in a haze. Maybe that’s why the thoughts of having cancer didn’t scare me so much."

The surgery was successful and Mrs. Galloway said it really wasn’t that bad.

"The recovery was the bad part," she said. "Knowing I had to do all of those exercises every day or I wouldn’t ever be able to raise my arm when

really didn’t feel like it was the hard part. I really had to push myself but I had the love and support of my family and friends and that kept me going."

Within six weeks Mrs. Galloway was back at work and her outlook was positive.

"I didn’t dwell on the fact that I had cancer," she said. "I was just thankful that there were surgeries and treatments that gave me a chance to beat it."

She realized that the success of her surgery was due to the great strides in research that had been made and she was very appreciative. She knew the American Cancer Society raised funds to aid in this life-saving research but she really didn’t get involved.

"Back then, the big fund raiser was the biggest rat campaign and it was designed for people who had worlds of money," she said. "I didn’t have worlds of money so I never got involved in that."

However, when the Relay for Life campaign began in Pike County in 1995, Mrs. Galloway got involved.

"Relay gives everybody an opportunity to be involved," she said. "You can give $10 or 10 cents and everybody who gives is a part of helping to find a cure for cancer. That’s a good feeling."

Mrs. Galloway is a receptionist/teller at Troy Bank & Trust and she sees every day that everyone is concerned about finding a cure.

"We have Relay donation jars at the bank and most of those who put in money are young people between the ages of 18 and 25," she said. "They may just give a few coins but

they are giving. This is everybody’s fight."

TB&T sponsors the luminaries that line the Relay field and they burn in honor of loved ones who are fighting the battle or in memory of those who lost the fight.

"The luminary service is the most moving part of Relay for Life," she said. "You can’t walk the field and read the names and not be touched by it. "

The most uplifting part of Relay is the survivors’ walk and Mrs. Galloway always looks forward to it.

"There is a bond that is created among those of us who are cancer survivors," she said. "Being together gives us strength and hope. It’s such a warm feeling to walk the survivors’ lap and know that there are so many people who care about

you and are out there working to help find a cure for cancer. Every year, there are new people among us – survivors. Cancer survivors. How thankful we are to be able to say we are cancer survivors."