Gaining life perspective

Justin Dickie
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Every day is a gift for cancer survivor Barry Anderson

MACCAN - Cancer gave Barry Anderson a different perspective on life.

Gaining life perspective

MACCAN - Cancer gave Barry Anderson a different perspective on life.

"You look at things a lot differently. Little problems aren't big problems anymore. Money doesn't mean a great deal to me. Family's become a lot more important for sure," he said. "Every day is a blessing. I look forward to every day as a gift."

The retired math and physics teacher was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a slow-moving cancer that triggers plasma cells in bone marrow, just after Thanksgiving in 1992 while still dealing with his wife Margo's own battle with cancer.

Anderson underwent two rounds of chemotherapy before a bone marrow transplant. He was released from hospital on April 1, 1993, cancer-free.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Anderson wasn't so lucky. She passed away in February 1997.

"My wife was the strong one, actually. She helped me through it," Anderson said. "It's bad enough to have it; it's very difficult being the supporting person. She had a quiet strength that gives a person courage."

Anderson has been participating in the Relay For Life in Amherst since its beginning, attending in Margo's memory as well as taking part in the Survivor's Victory Lap. He said while all cancer fundraisers are great, he's particularly partial to the Relay.

"There's a tremendous spirit, tremendous camaraderie among the people that are there. It's certainly an uplifting experience," he said. "It's just awe-inspiring."

At this year's Relay he plans to walk a few laps with his sisters-in-law, niece and daughter's team, the Butterfly Angels, as they participate in Margo's memory.

"It means an awful lot to me. Just being alive and being able to do it with them," he said.

The 2007 Relay For Life will take place Friday, June 8, starting at 7 p.m. at Robb's complex.



jdickie@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Butterfly Angels

Geographic location: Amherst

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