Friends, family remember Drinkard’s fighting spirit and faith

Published 11:00 pm Monday, July 29, 2013


Jim Drinkard, pictured with Martha Lynn Drinkard, lost his battle with cancer on Saturday.

Jim Drinkard, pictured with Martha Lynn Drinkard, lost his battle with cancer on Saturday.

Friends and family are remembering Jim Drinkard this week.

Drinkard fought hard for more than three years against multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells. He passed away on Saturday.

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“Jim never complained. He never gave up. Jim fought with everything – every fiber of his being,” said Troy Mayor Jason A. Reeves who worked with Drinkard for about 15 years. “I’ve never known someone to face such adversity with such grace.”

During his fight against the disease, Drinkard underwent bone marrow transplants, blood transfusions, radiation and traveled to the University of Arkansas for treatments once a month.

“My father was always a fighter, from the moment he was diagnosed with cancer, he made the decision to never give up,” said Rob Drinkard. “The doctors would always say, ‘Your body may not be strong enough for this treatment’ or ‘it will be tough but if it works, it will help others.’ He would always reply with ‘let’s just give it a try.’

“He was always hoping that one of the trial treatments would work so that others would be able to benefit from the same treatment. Even through his last hours, he was still strong.”

Cancer took the Drinkard family by surprise. Drinkard was experiencing back pain in 2010 and thought it was from a fall. Instead, it was the disease.

“Jim was a very strong Christian man,” Reeves said. “He had a deep faith and belief in God and I think that sustained him and helped him fight for so long. His wife, Martha Lynn, was with him every step of the way and was just as strong as him. He couldn’t have gone through it without his faith in God, but he also couldn’t have gone through it without Martha Lynn and his family.”

Reeves said he admired Drinkard for the man he was, the father he was and the husband he was.

Drinkard’s son also recognized the strength his father drew from God.

“While we are saddened by his passing, we know that he rests in Heaven free of pain, suffering and disease. His positive attitude and kind spirit was truly an inspiration to all,” Rob Drinkard said. “We are confident in God’s plan and perfect timing. While the earthly doctors and treatment were a blessing, his strength and perseverance came from God.”