On May 4th, 2013, the From the Heart event honored five families experiencing the physical, emotional, and personal journey of cancer.
Juan was diagnosed in early February 2013 with advanced pancreatic cancer. He is currently undergoing radiation treatments in Albert Lea. This is targeting a lesion on his T1 vertebrae. Following radiation, chemotherapy treatments will begin in mid-March in Owatonna.
Juan is married to Amy (1986 OHS graduate), is the proud father of Samantha Fransen (23) and Tony Villarreal (4thgrader at McKinley), is the twin brother of Jane Christenson and Big Brother to Roosevelt Rios. Juan is a MemberServices Lead with Hometown Credit Union and works out of the Hy-Vee location. Juan continually tries to make the world a brighter place by giving of his time and talent. Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Adopt-a-Highway, From The Heart Run and the Crisis Resource Center are a few of the organizations that Juan has worked with.
The Villarreal Family feels honored and blessed to have such a special place in this year’s From The Heart Run and as a family will continue to try to give back to this beautiful community.
Sue was diagnosed with Stage 2 Grade 2 Ovarian Cancer in mid January 2013 following a routine surgery. Weekly chemo treatments in Rochester began shortly after her diagnosis. Additional surgery will be required with follow up chemo treatments.
Sue is so grateful for the love and support from her family and friends on this journey. A special thank you to her niece Melanie for the being her constant support at her treatments. Staying positive and being surrounded by positive people is a strong component in fighting the disease.
Sue has been teaching 8th grade Health at the Owatonna Junior High School for 11 years and is currently a co-advisor for the junior high student council. Sue is very fortunate to be surrounded by a great group of colleagues and students who have been so supportive since her journey began.
Christine Deming-Davis married her best friend Harry Davis on January 13th, 2013. The couple has a daughter; Kya is 8 years old and is a 3rd grader at Lincoln School. For the past 15 years Christine has worked in the travel industry as a travel consultant, she volunteers in our community with youth sports, member of the Owatonna Business Women; and continues to share her passion to find a cure for cancer as she co-chairs the 2013 Relay for Life of Steele County.
In October 2011, Christine was diagnosed with stage 2 Appendix cancer. After two surgeries within 3 weeks of each other, her surgeon stated they removed all the cancer and she didn’t need further treatment or follow-up. Feeling uneasy, Christine decided to take it upon herself to contact an oncologist for a second opinion; and she is glad she did. The cancer was not completely removed, chemotherapy was started December 2011 and by July 2012 she received a clean bill of health. One week after celebrating her 1 year birthday with cancer, she was diagnosis again now with Stage 4 non-curable and the cancer cells have metastasized too many organs and throughout the abdomen.
Christine shares her strength by each smile she gives, and continues to be positive during her journey with cancer. Christine believes that without our caregivers and our close knit caring community we survivors wouldn’t be where we are today!
Candy Anderson, married to Brian Anderson, and is the mother to three children, Arden, Alyssa and Natasha. Arden is sophomore at UND college, Alyssa is sophomore at U of M college and Natasha is junior at Owatonna High School.
Candy was diagnosed in November of 2009 with breast cancer StageIIIA and its spread to her lymph nodes. She went through surgeries, chemotherapy treatments and radiation treatments. In October of 2012 cancer spreads to her liver StageIV non-curable and she had surgery to remove the tumor in her liver. She is now going for Cat Scan every two months and hopefully her cancer will not spread again.
Candy is very grateful to have family, friends, church, school and community support and help her through her breast cancer journey.
In December 2009, Bill was shoveling snow and thought he pulled a muscle. He went in for an x-ray in addition to a pulled muscle they found ‘an area of concern’. Within a couple of days, he was set up for a battery of tests at the Mayo Clinic. They did biopsies, PET scan and numerous other tests. The doctors were able to tell him that he had two ‘masses’ or areas of concern; one on each lung. Surgery was the next step. The first surgery was performed January 2010, which resulted in the diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. A second surgery was scheduled for the right lung March 2010. It has been determined that Bill’s type of cancer does not respond to conventional treatments. It is a slow progressing cancer potentially caused by a genetic/DNA alteration or mutation. Bill has struggled each winter since diagnosis with anywhere from 3 -5 pneumonias, resulting in numerous doctor visits and hospital stays. He has been advised of some additional testing that could potentially give the oncologists some definitive cells to trigger for treatment. While this may not be a cure, doctors are working aggressively to prolong quality of life.
This journey has been an emotional one. They hold out hope each and every day for the new technology and advances in treatment. The Reuter family is blessed to have found some amazing support with family and friends.
Video Produced by Limberg Productions
From the Heart 5 years