Walking around Newton Field last week, Harold Stinson had a big smile on his face.
He was enjoying the Mexican food and company surrounding him on a beautiful, breezy Friday night in June. And Stinson had many reasons to smile, one of which was draped over his right shoulder -- a white sash that read “survivor” in purple letters.
In late 2005, Stinson was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
“It just hit me like a ton of bricks that I'm not indestructible,” he said. “And I'll always ask why.”
And just when the kidney cancer started to subside, a new battle with Lymphoma began.
Now, walking around Newton Field as a participant in Relay for Life, the cancer fighting fundraising organization, is just one way Stinson can help those currently going through what he did.
Like Stinson, Marla Morgan wore a white sash as she talked with family and friends.
Morgan was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in January of 2010. She underwent a full year of treatment and found herself relying on numerous people.
Her sister even hired someone to clean the house once a week.
“I hated it. But you have to learn to let go and let other people do for you and bless you,” Morgan said. “In the long run everybody wins. You've got to lean on others, ask others for help.”
Morgan is going on four years as a cancer survivor. She found support in Graham through her husband of 30 years, family, friends and church.
Now, it's her turn to return the love she received during her fight with cancer.
Morgan's mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer a few weeks ago, and her sister has liver and lung cancer.
While cancer leads a patient down a dark, uncertain road, Stinson and Morgan believe Relay for Life helps brighten that journey.
“We need hope,” Morgan said. “This is why I'm here. I wanted to come and get that support and hope that I needed to help them fight their battle.”
Read the full story in the weekend's Graham Leader.