By Mary O’KEEFE
“I am a cancer survivor.”
Speaker Bob Kinzel (above) shared his story of survival with a group of Foothills Relay for Life supporters that gathered on Saturday night in Montrose.
The night was a kick-off for the May event when teams walk the track at Clark Magnet High School for 24 hours. At least one team member from each team is on the track at all times symbolizing the fact that cancer never rests.
Kinzel thanked everyone for being at Saturday’s event and said it was especially poignant because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. He then shared his unlikely story.
“In 2009, we had our dream. We had lived in Burbank but we always wanted to live in the mountains. So we [bought our dream home] and moved to Lake Arrowhead,” Kinzel told the crowd.
He and his wife were moving into the home and it was hot, so he took his shirt off. His wife noticed that his breast nipple was retracted. He didn’t think it was that big of deal, and attributed the change to “just getting older.”
“But my wife nagged me,” Kinzel said.
He had to visit his doctor on another matter, so he thought he would just mention what he had noticed. At first his doctor wasn’t certain what it meant, he said.
The doctor did some research and called Kinzel back into his office.
“That is a sign of breast cancer,” the doctor told him.
He found that he had a tumor in his milk duct.
“Yes men, we have milk ducts,” Kinzel said. “It was an invasive ductal carcinoma.”
He talked about his fight with cancer, his chemotherapy sessions and how there were times when he just wanted to give up. He stayed the course and said the support he felt from those who walked during Relay for Life made a big difference.
“There are [a lot] of people like me that love [the supporters] for what you do,” he said. “Hope is unstoppable.”
Robin Goldsworthy also spoke at the event about being a caregiver for a family member with cancer.
Goldsworthy shared that both her mother and her father-in-law died of cancer. Her mother smoked, her father-in-law never smoked yet they both got cancer. She brought to light that cancer does not discriminate.
For each cancer victim there is a caregiver, and most of the time that is a family member. Goldsworthy was there for her mother when she had her long bout with cancer. There are the trips to chemotherapy and endless doctor visits.
Goldsworthy spoke about how cancer touches all in the family.
For information or to donate to a Foothills Relay for Life team visit www.foothillsrleayforlife.com.