2013 Honorary Co-Chairs

Al Ridgway


Late May to early June on 2012, "I thought" I was going through some ulcer like symptoms. I went to the doctor and he sent me home with a prescription and told me to come back in a couple of weeks. I was not getting better. I started swelling in my ankles and stomach and knew something was wrong. A CT Scan confirmed that my liver was enlarged with tumors. The biopsy said it was unknown primary neuroendocrine. This means they do not know where the cancer came from. 

I was declining rapidly and was sent to McKennan in Sioux Falls. They only gave me 2 weeks to live. I was treated with chemo therapy and managed to get out of the hospital 3 weeks later. The chemo was working! Half way thru the chemo regiments, my tumors had shrunk by 75%. By the time I finished my chemo treatments in October, the tumors were 80-85% gone. The doctor was happy with the results.

I went back to work 2 weeks after  finishing chemo treatments. Everything was going well for the first few months, but a couple of weeks before my 3 month check up with the doctor, I started to have pains that just were not right. I went into the doctor early  and another CT Scan confirmed that the tumors were coming back. Presently, I am getting help Cancer Treatment Center of America (CTCA of Illinos). My cancer is rare and the doctors here did what they could do here. CTC
A sees this kind of cancer more than they do around here. Right now I am going thru chemo therapy again with a different battle plan. As of right now, I am feeling as good as you can after chemo treatment, and working 6 hours a day. I am enjoying life with my family day by day.

Kathy Zoss

In November 2007, I found a lump in my right breast doing a self breast exam. I went to the Doctor and was sent to the Breast Health Institute in Sioux Falls. Five biopsies and an ultrasound were done, and I was told it was nothing to worry about. I continued to go to my scheduled appointments every year after.

This past August, 2012, I went for my scheduled appointment, and found out that my lump had grown. The Doctor wanted to do 4 more biopsies and an ultrasound. I had told the Doctor no matter what the outcome was, "I want this lump removed"  and he agreed. I received the biopsy report, and it came back negative. The Doctor at the Breast health Institute said that he would refer me to a surgeon, but before I could have surgery, I needed to heal. The plan to have surgery in October didn't happen as my family had a house fire October 4th, 2012 and lost everything. My surgery was then set for November 19th, 2012. On November 26th (the Monday after Thanksgiving) I received "the call" that changed my world, saying that I had breast cancer. Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) is the correct term.

December 19th (my Dad's birthday) I started my radiation treatments...Monday thru Friday, for the next 6 1/2 weeks. Dr. Dick and his staff were, and are, wonderful. Through my needle scares to the smiles and jokes, it made it a lot easier. On February 13, 2013 (the day before my birthday) I went to the  Doctors in Sioux Falls and was told that my persistence on wanting the lump removed, saved me. The Doctor told me that in less than a year it could have been full blown. That is when he told me I was "CANCER FREE"............ My  treatment of oral medicine started March 15th. I will be taking Tamoxifen, for prevention, for the next 5 years.

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