Relay honors survivors, caregivers

By Matt Lasley -

The Grayson County Relay for Life recognized and honored local cancer survivors and their caregivers during the eighth annual Survivor Dinner on Thursday night, March 31.

Cancer Survivor League Chairperson Sharon Dudgeon welcomed attendees to the event and introduced the guest speakers, husband and wife Ronnie and Dottie Hayes.

Ronnie Hayes spoke on his experiences battling cancer and undergoing years of cancer treatments.

Ronnie Hayes was initially diagnosed in 2011 and, since that time, cancer has been located in his colon, liver, prostate, and lungs, leading to, among other things, radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and the removal of portions of his colon, liver, and lungs.

The battle with cancer has been a hard fought one for the Hayeses.

Ronnie Hayes said that cancer hurts both physically and financially; however, his family, friends, church family, and work have helped him along the way.

To others battling cancer, Ronnie Hayes said, “Have hope and keep the faith.”

Then, Dottie Hayes spoke about her experiences as a caregiver for her husband during his battle with cancer.

Dottie Hayes said that becoming frustrated comes with the territory, and, when faced with her husband’s cancer diagnosis, she could have either run away, been hurt, or taken what God had given her. She chose the latter.

“This is what God has [given] us; we will stand firm in it,” said Dottie Hayes, adding that she is thankful for the opportunity to take care of her husband and help him in his fight.

“I thank God every day that every breath he takes is for me,” Dottie Hayes said of her husband. “I love him.”

Dottie Hayes said she would not let her husband succumb to cancer without a fight, and fought he has.

In closing, Ronnie Hayes also commended Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center for its caring employees.

After the Hayeses spoke, Dudgeon and the other volunteers at the Survivor Dinner presented gifts to each of the cancer survivors in attendance.

By Matt Lasley

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

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