Cancer has affected many lives in county

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Staff Writer

In the eyes of cancer all people are treated equally and without discrimination.

But come Friday night, the citizens of Pike County have an opportunity to gather together at Relay for Life in a show of support against a dreaded disease that strikes so many, be it young or old.

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Linda Tompkins, an employees at Troy Bank and Trust, recalls one time when cancer affected a close friend of hers.

"I had a very dear friend of mine, whose 2-year old granddaughter was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had to have a kidney removed," she said. "So I just think that it’s just a wonderful thing for people in the community to stand up in support for the American Cancer Society."

Tompkins, like everyone, understands that if cancer can strike a 2-year old then anyone is at risk.

"We just want to do anything we can to prevent it and I think that’s why we’re all so scared because it could be one of us tomorrow," she said.

Fellow employee Amanda Morgan said that this year, Troy Bank and Trust has dedicated their tent and fund raising to a co-worker who lost the fight to cancer last June.

"That really just shocked us all," Morgan said. "It just happened so fast and was really hard swallow."

Morgan said that everyone needs to be aware, because cancer touches everyone.

"If cancer doesn’t affect a family member, then most definitely it affects a friend," she said.

Jeff Bentley, vice-president at Troy Bank and Trust, has seen cancer claim the lives of many of his relatives over the years.

"Out of my mother’s six siblings, four of them have died of cancer, so it hits real close to home for me," he said. "My mother’s twin brother, who I was real close too, died of colon cancer five years ago."

Bentley said that Relay for Life is one of the most worthwhile causes around and that the employees of Troy Bank and Trust do a great job when it comes to raising money for the American Cancer Society.

"Our people here get really active in Relay for Life, whether organizing a car wash or whatever they can do to raise funds," he said. "This year, I think we’re about $1000 over where we were last year."

Regions Bank employee Amanda Taylor lost her grandmother to cancer.

"Anything that can be done to help research in the fight against cancer, such as the Relay for Life, is just a great cause," she said.