Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hope Floats


The Hope Floats - Wal-mart 67 Relay For Life team held a innovative and interesting fundraiser on October 20, 2012. When people made donations to the team their name was written on the bottom of a rubber duck. The ducks were then taken to the middle of the pond at Rich Mountain Community College and set adrift.


When the ducks were set adrift, Lady, a black lab, was sent into the water to retrieve a duck. The name on the first duck retrieved received a 40" flat screen HD TV, the second a Nook e-reader and the third a rocking chair.


It was a breezy day, and when all of the rubber ducks had been blown to shore, the kids present had a great time collecting the rubber ducks from the lake.

IMG_3714 IMG_3738

It was a great fundraiser and over 2200.00 was raised for Relay For Life.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Brandi Sachs - Volunteering to Find a Cure

Citizen of the Week by LeAnn Dilbeck - Published in the October 17, 2012 issue of The Polk County Pulse.

Family is an integral part of who so many of us are. But for many it goes much deeper and defines who we are. A statement that can be said for this week's Citizen, Brandi Myers Sachs. And family is who has inspired one of her greatest active outspoken champion of the Polk County Relay For Life. "It was devastating," says Myers through tears when she remembers getting the call that her Aunt Peggy had pancreatic cancer. Her aunt underwent treatments but lost her battle within only a few short months of diagnosis. Brandi had known of others with cancer but had never had the devastating illness strike so bitterly close to home and says she regrets now taking so long to become involved in helping to find a cure.

"When you become involved with Relay, you are helping to find a cure...97 cents of every dollar raised goes to research," says Sachs, and it is in that she finds great healing. "It's too late for my aunt but it's not too late for my mom or your aunt or your daughter...or on and on."  Through grief and loss, Brandi has discovered a passion that she chooses to champion a cause and make a profound difference...a difference that she may never actually see but finds inspiration and comfort in knowing she was part of a larger cause that worked to eradicate an illness that has devestated families across the globe.

Brandi moved to Mena with her parents Don and Judye Myers along with brothers Cotye and Justin when she was just two.  Don had been sent on "assignment" by his father to open a Sonic Drive-In.  And that he did.  The Myers Sonic Drive-In became a cornerstone business on the corner of Cherry and Hwy 71 as well as part of at least two generations of teenagers' memories that made the drive-in a regular weekend and after-school hangout spot.  In 2000, the family made a very tough decision to discontinue their Sonic franchise and the restaurant became Myers Cruizzers Drive-In.  "It was a really big decision for my Dad but he believed as long as we continued to give good service we'd be fine."  Brandi said the business barely experienced a hiccup and the customers continued to turn-in day after day.

Now the three siblings share the responsibility of running the same drive-in that was such a big part their own childhood.  Brandi graduated from Mena High School in 1991 and married her husband, David, in 1996.  The couple have two children, Ridge age 14, and Brickie, age 10.  "My life didn't begin untill I had them," sand Brandi.

She said the family enjoys camping, four-wheeling, and just spending time together.  Each of the Myers siblings have homes near their parents, Don and Judye.

Just as passionate as her advocacy for cancer, Brandi wants her children to have the same childhood she had where her parents instilled the values and beliefs she still carries today.  "You want to raise them right...raise them so they know how to make the right choices."

Brandi also enjoys photography but even in her hobby it is in her appreciation for family that she finds fulfillment.  When asked what she found the most fulffilling about her photography, she said immediately and simply, "preserving those memories for the families."

Quite satisfied raising her family in the same hometown where she was raised, Brandi enjoys working at the drive-in, being a wife and a mom.  When asked where she saw herself in ten years, she said, "well, I hope as happy and as blessed as I have been the last ten!"


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Newly Diagnosed? Top 5 Questions You Should Ask Your Care Team

Hearing the words “you have cancer” is enough to send any mind spinning. You may have a million questions running through your head, and you may not know where to start when it comes to asking for information about your diagnosis and treatment. However, opening up a dialogue with your care team is the best way to get the answers you need to make informed decisions about your health. The list below will help you ask the right questions as you start your cancer journey.

  1. Exactly what kind of cancer do I have? All cancers start with an uncontrolled growth of cells in the body, but different kinds of cancer behave very differently. They may grow at different rates and respond to different treatments – and not just because they affect different parts of the body. There can also be sub-types of breast cancer, for example, that behave differently from other sub-types of breast cancer. Learning your exact diagnosis and the l name of your cancer is the first step in understanding your diagnosis and helping others understand it, too.
  2. What stage is my cancer, and what does that mean?  Staging is a concise way to describe the size of a particular cancer growth and also how far the cancer may have spread beyond where it started. Cancers can range from stage I to stage IV, with stage I describing the smallest tumors located in only one area of the body and stage IV describing larger growths or cancer that has spread. The stage is very important in making decisions about the best treatment, for example a stage I breast cancer will be treated very differently from a stage IV breast cancer. Knowing the stage also can help your doctor talk to you about how likely you are to respond to treatment and survive the cancer. Ask your doctor to explain what stage cancer you have and why it was staged that way. You may need to have some additional tests or even surgery for doctors to fully stage your cancer.
  3. What are my treatment choices? There may be more than one way to treat your cancer. Learning about the effectiveness, potential side effects, and long-term outcomes of different cancer treatments can help you make the best decision about the next steps in your care. Ask what the goal of the treatment is: Are you working to get rid of the cancer, keep it from spreading, or simply relieve some symptoms? Also ask what the long-term effects of potential treatments might be. Some treatments can permanently affect your fertility or other bodily functions or increase your risk of a second cancer in the future.
  4. What will life be like during treatment? Knowing what to expect on a day-to-day basis during treatment can help you feel more calm and prepared as you move forward. Ask about the basics, such as where your treatment will take place, how long it will last, and how often you will need to go. Also ask how the treatment might impact your daily activities: Will you still be able to attend work or school? Drive a car? Travel? Get an idea of how the treatment might impact your body, too. Will it be painful or cause physical side effects such as hair loss or fatigue? If you get details in advance, you can make a plan for how you will cope with these factors if and when they happen.
  5. How much will it cost? Although money may be the last thing you want to talk about, cancer will likely impact your finances as well as your body. After talking with your doctor about treatment options, talk with your insurance company or the financial office of your hospital or clinic to get a clear idea of how much your care will cost. Ask about the costs of any treatment and about the costs of medicines or any home care services you may need. If you need help paying for your care, ask to talk with a social worker who may be able to guide you to resources to help you.