Age 35, Lafferty
Mindy and her boyfriend Dave?
Mindy and her children?
My cancer story:
Preparing for prom to most teenage girls is a time of excitement. For me, it was the exact opposite. I got the news in April 1996 after getting a mole removed in preparation for the short dress I had chosen to wear.
I was 17 years old and I had cancer. I was overcome by fear, sadness, anger and confusion. No one in my family had ever heard of melanoma, let alone be diagnosed with it.
Not knowing what to expect or the extent of what I faced, I saw Dr. Walker at James Cancer Center, OSU in Columbus. He preformed my surgeries and began my treatments. I completed a couple of months of IV Interferon and over a year of injections 3 times a week.
I am now 17 years cancer free!!
My battle was not fought alone. I had a huge support team consisting of doctors, nurses, friends and family. My biggest supporter was my mom. With countless sleepless nights and fear overtaking her, she still managed to raise our family, take me to every appointment, listen to me express my fears and wipe my tears. But most of all, she pushed me to fight harder when I wanted to give up.
One lesson learned on your cancer journey:
I've never really taken much for granted but now I appreciate everything just a little more.
Message to newly diagnosed and patients in treatment:
If you get the news that you have cancer.FIGHT!! I beat cancer, and so can you!
Mindy has attended numerous Relay events over the years and proudly walks the Survivor Lap each year. The Belmont County Relay For Life will take place on June 13-14 at St. Clairsville Stadium. If you are a survivor and/or you would like to get involved in Relay For Life, please visit www.relayforlife.org/belmontcounty or call 888-227-6446 x3206.