Happy cancer-free anniversary, Reyny

Reyny Anderson and Valeree Lane at the 2014 Medford Relay for Life.

Reyny Anderson and Valeree Lane at the 2014 Medford Relay for Life.

For many people, cancer is a destructive force. In my experience, I’ve seen the scourge take life, but it has also built community.

Two summers ago, I met Reyny Anderson at the Cancer Prevention 3 local event. We both volunteered for the day, assisting wherever needed to facilitate participants’ ability to enlist in the study. There was an immediate chemistry that found us laughing and teasing from the start. Some were surprised to learn that we had just met, but I believe we were meant to know each other.

Through Reyny, I would become involved with Relay for Life. She is a breast cancer survivor, and leads the survivor efforts of the planning committee. In fact, she is seven years cancer free as of last week.

Having seen my boss and mentor Martha Anne Dow succumb to the disease, it was good to see someone not only survive but thrive. Reyny is vibrant and rollicking. Her family is delightful, and my life is better for knowing them.

In fact, Reyny finished her shift in the hospital transcription office and then came and sat with me in pre-op before my appendectomy recently.

She’s from Montana, as was Martha Anne, and both were/are always ready and willing for a road trip adventure. Reyny is also my sister through Jesus Christ, just like Martha Anne. I will never say that I rejoice for cancer, but I rejoice in the face of cancer because despite its harsh, negative influence there is always hope and faith beyond the darkness.

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