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Support and survival

Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Cancer is probably one of the ugliest two-syllable words in existence.  Thankfully, research has come a considerable way in the last 30 years alone, leading to far better chances of survival for those afflicted with the disease. The hope of recovery is precisely what drove so many people inside the Art of Coffee on July 16. This annual event, put together by Peggy Mothershead, a survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, has been running once a year every year since the Art of Coffee opened its doors in Montross.

One could be forgiven for thinking that a gathering of cancer survivors would be a somber affair, given what those that are afflicted with it must go through. However, in the case of any gathering involving Peggy Mothershead, someone might think that they had walked in on a birthday party. Rather than wallow in pity, the Warsaw Cancer Support Group instead opts to share stories and offer moral support to those who have suffered through cancer or are about to undergo treatment.

Congressman Rob Wittman, typically also appears at this event, but business in Washington D.C. prevented him from showing this time around. The other guest speakers for that evening Martha Balderson and Dr. Michael Porrazzo, were present and able to share both their stories and their messages.

Martha Balderson’s story could be a case story in how someone handles having the rug repeatedly pulled out from under them. Her fight with cancer started back in 2008, when she visited Dr. Smith in Fredericksburg for a colonoscopy.

Things got complicated from there after getting an additional surgery needed, courtesy of Dr. Reginald Mason, a man Dr. Smith had personally recommended.

“When I got the additional diagnoses, I cried and felt sorry for myself, going ‘Why me?’ over and over again,” she explained to her fellow survivors. “The next day, I got on the phone, called some friends, and told them to keep a prayer for me. I also started keeping a journal.”

However, Balderson attributes most of the help that she received to her faith. She even recited a Bible passage – 1 Peter 4:12-13 – that a friend had sent her:

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”

For the full article, pick up the latest Westmoreland News 7/24/19

Local cancer survivor, Peggy Mothershead is an inspiration

to those who are struggling or have fought the disease.