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Community, coworkers rally behind Shirley Pritts

By Walter Geiger The Lamar County sheriff’s office has mounted a multi-pronged effort to help correctional officer Shirley Pritts who is waging a tough battle with stage three breast cancer. Pritts said she was diagnosed with cancer last August and the extensiveness of the disease was confirmed in September. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy and 22 of the 25 lymph nodes removed at that time were cancerous. She is now undergoing chemotherapy, has been very ill from it and was hospitalized last week for a time. The sheriff’s office is hosting Ride for Shirley this Saturday. Motorcyclists will gather at the sheriff’s office for registration at 9 a.m. and depart on the ride at 10 a.m. The cost is $25 per rider and $10 per passenger. After the ride, there will be free music, food and various raffles. All the proceeds go directly to Pritts who greatly appreciates the help. ‘If it wasn’t for the wonderful people I work with, I wouldn’t be able to afford treatment. Without them I wouldn’t know what to do,’ Pritts said. She said her coworkers have donated sick time and their days off to drive her to treatment and to make sure she has income coming in. ’My husband walked out on me after 30 years of marriage. I really felt I would have to face all of this alone but the folks at the sheriff’s department have been with me. They are my family,’ Pritts added. If you cannot make the ride or festivities surrounding it, you can send monetary donations to the sheriff’s office at 121 Roberta Drive, Barnesville, Ga. 30204.

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