Survivor serves as example to all

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Janie McLeod is many things: a mother, grandmother and hardworking employee for the city of Denton, but on Saturday she will step out as an example to all by leading the survivors’ portion of the run/walk event at the third annual Susan G. Komen North Texas Denton Race for the Cure.

McLeod, who was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago, will be walking alongside her daughter, Julie Laughter, and her two granddaughters, Alyssa and Emily Laughter.

McLeod said that she is doing the Komen walk for all three of them.

“I believe education is key and, hopefully, one day there will be a cure,” she said. “By taking part, the funds raised will one day bring us closer.”

There is still time to join McLeod and others who have signed up to help in the local event. Those who want to participate can register online at www.komennorthtexas.org until 5 p.m. today.

Same-day registration will be held at the event site, Denton’s South Lakes Park, beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday.

Cost is $35 for adults, $20 for seniors and youth $20, $25 for students and $10 for babies. Those who can’t be at the event can sign up to Sleep In for the Cure at a cost of $45.

Whether you actively participate or just attend as an observer and cheerleader, the important thing is to take part — that’s the message behind McLeod’s inspirational example of living life to the fullest.

After her October 2006 diagnosis, McLeod said she was scheduled to have surgery to remove the cancer and started preparing for the worst.

“I had my will complete and everything,” she said.

What McLeod quickly learned was that all the worrying wasn’t doing any good, she said, and she actually was blessed to have caught the cancer early.

“I am so thankful to the city that they provide free health fairs for their employees,” McLeod said.

The health fair, she said, was where she first learned something wasn’t right.

“I didn’t learn right there I had breast cancer, but I learned I needed to go have additional testing done, which ultimately led to the diagnosis,” she said.

She’s also learned not to take anything for granted. The bottom line, McLeod said, is that blessings truly come not only in all shapes and sizes but different disguises.

“Who would’ve thought breast cancer would be a blessing?” she asked. “Going through something really just helps you sit back and acknowledge so many moments one misses while hurrying throughout their day.”

About three years ago, McLeod, the community events coordinator for the city, was sitting in her office discussing bringing the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to Denton.

“Little did they know I was a breast cancer survivor myself and had been wanting to bring this event to our town,” she said.

We commend McLeod and all the others who worked to bring the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to Denton and are about to host their third successful fundraiser, and we encourage area residents to join them at South Lakes Park.

And a special nod to you, Janie, and the many other courageous cancer survivors who will be taking part in Saturday’s event.

Thanks for leading the way.


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