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The First Article Is Out!!!!


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The article in MY local paper (different from Mom's) came out Wednesday but i didn't get my hands on it until today....here it is. I couldn't link y'all to it because the Madisonian makes you pay to read it online...so I just typed it out! LOL

From the Winterset Madisonian...Wed. June 28, 2006

Celebration with....artistic expression

If you're from the Winterset area, you might know Melissa Ham and her brother Mike Fletchall (they also have a sister, Becky Fletchall, who lives in Redfield).

Melissa assists students who have behavior disorders at the Winterset Junior High School, while Mike, better known as "Fletch", is part of the local band The Barrelhouse Rockets.

Their mom is Sue Seymour of Minburn. She has lung cancer.

About lung cancer

In May of 2005, Sue was diagnosed with Stage IV non-small cell adenocarcinoma. In other words, Sue found herself facing the final stage of lung cancer.

"The cancer that my mother was diagnosed with is the one most often found in non-smoking women," Melissa (Missy) said. "Lung cancer is not just a smoker's disease."

It is now a year later, and after chemotherapy and radiation, including treatments pinpointing areas of cancer that metastasized (or spread) to her brain, Sue is doing remarkably well.

With Sues's diagnosis, Melissa and her family began working to raise awareness about lung cancer research funding and support. The now-informed Missy shared these 2005 federal government statistics on cancer research spending, based on the number of dollars spent in relation to cancer morbidity.

Breast cancer: $23,473 per cancer death

Prostate cancer: $14,368 per cancer death

Colorectal cancer: $5,215 per cancer death

Lung cancer: $1,829 per cancer death

Yet, lung cancer kills more American's each year than breast, prostate, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers combined.

In acknowledgement of these statistics and her own personal family experience, Melissa wants to get the word out. "The need for lung cancer research funding is ever-increasing, and the need for a support system for the patients and families of lung cancer is even greater."

So how does a family from central Iowa go about raising awareness? They get creative.

"On July 4, 2006, my mom-Sue Seymour-will be in the town 'triangle' of Minburn with her bald head and a marker, taking free-will donations for LCSC [Lung Cancer Support Community] for the chance to write something (appropriate) on her head or other exposed parts of her body to raise awareness of lung cancer issues."

The mission of LCSC is simply "to provide the best lung cancer center on the web that fosters hope and support for those diagnosed with lung cancer and their families" (from www.lchelp.org). LCSC is completely funded by donations.

Everyone's Invited

The fourth of July, the Minburn community will celebrate in grand style. Almost straight north of Adel, the small town plans a 10 a.m. parade preceded by a speech from long time resident, beauty shop owner, city council member, neighbor, friend and cancer fighter-Sue Seymour.

"There are few people who call Minburn home that do not know Sue (and her husband Ralph) and she will also be taking some time during the celebration to thank the community for their continuing support while she fights this disease," added Melissa.

On the list for the day's festivities are: children's games (of which a few of Sue's grandchildren Sabrina Ham, Ashley Hendricks, Dennis Neal, and Patrick Fletchall will surely enjoy), food, entertainment, an evening pie auction, and of course a traditional display of fireworks to complete (the) celebration.

How important is this event to Sue's family?

"When she was first diagnosed, they told her that if she did nothing she would have three months, and if she treated it aggressively she might see a year," Melissa said with a slight catch in her voice. "Now, we're at 13 months since diganosis."

Research makes a difference.

On July 4th, consider joining the festivities in Minburn or just stopping by, Sue's family would be glad-and grateful-to see you.

-Jesseca Newton-

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