Stinson, Wal-Mart family

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 8, 2001

join fight against cancer


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Cancer is a family disease. When it strikes one member, the whole family suffers.

No one knows that better than Kaye Stinson.

She lost her mother to cancer two weeks after she was diagnosed. Ten days after her brother was diagnosed with the disease, he too was lost. So, when Stinson was told that she had breast cancer, she went into temporary shock.

Then, she prayed.

"The first thing Jim and I did was pray," Stinson said. "My family had been hit hard by cancer and, frankly, I was scared. But, we prayed and started looking for anything positive we could find in our situation. I believe prayer, a positive attitude and early detection brought me through."

Stinson said she can not emphasis the importance of early detection. "It saves lives."

"We don’t know where my mother’s cancer started," she said. "By the time it was discovered, she already had knots on her head. And, my brother had been to doctor after doctor with a back problem that he was told was from problems he encountered at an early age. By the time they found his cancer, it was wrapped around his vertebrae. I was fortunate that mine was found early."

Stinson was also fortunate that she did not have to have followup chemotherapy treatments, only radiation.

"During my treatments, I never missed a day of work," she said. "I would check out and go to Montgomery for my treatment, come back and finish my shift. I was very fortunate and I am so very thankful."

Stinson is doing good and is on a cancer-free drug that she will continue to take for five years.

"I hope I live to a ripe old age," she said with a grateful smile. "The one very important thing I learned through my ordeal with cancer is that it is

a family disease – and an extended family disease. No one would believe the people and churches that prayed for me and wrote letters of caring and encouragement. It was unreal. Pike County really pulled together for me. I’ll never forget how much that meant to me and my family and how important it was to my recovery."

Stinson now has another "extended" family that has rejoined the fight against cancer – her Wal-Mart family.

"When I worked at Winn-Dixie, we participated in Relay for Life from the time it started in Pike County," she said. "Last year, I was disappointed that Wal-Mart didn’t participate, but this year has more than made up for it. The response has been outstanding and so has the enthusiasm. Our manager, Bobbie Brackenridge, is really supportive. He is going to furnish a tent and food at Relay. Everyone is excited about our involvement."

The Wal-Mart employees have already raised almost $3,000 for their Relay for Life team. That is more than the $2,500 goal they had set.

"We’ve had jail for bail, a car wash and a hot dog wagon and we have other plans in the making," Stinson said. "We

passed our goal, but we want to raise as much as we can before May 18. We want everyone to know that Wal-Mart is in the fight against cancer because so many people that we know and care about are affected. Last year, I could not believe how many people were in the survivors’ walk -and

that was just Pike County. There are so many. We must do all we can to win the fight against cancer."