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Ed Greer: man of many talents

Cancer, an unwanted adventure….. By Kay S. Pedrotti The serious look on Ed Greer’s face makes one believe he’s contemplating the mysteries of the universe. Not true ‘“ he’s just planning his next adventure. Greer is a veteran of 23 years of volunteer firefighting, 33 years at Georgia Power Company, too many months in military combat, scuba diving, rock climbing, hiking (one has to hike to get to the rocks), skydiving and no telling what else. While he is indeed serious about everything he does, there are enough grins and chuckles behind that solemn look to make everybody around him feel happy. He and his wife of nine years Sharon Greer have been consistent community volunteers for many years. Their work has included Relay for Life, even before the ‘adventure’ Ed never wanted ‘“ bladder cancer. Relay is scheduled for May 3 this year. Diagnosed two years ago, Ed underwent a series of treatments from excruciating to ‘not so bad’ and has now been cancer-free for six months. Before he was diagnosed, Sharon said, neither of them knew bladder cancer is a condition common to many firefighters and emergency personnel. ’It’s because of the toxicity we work in’ said Ed. ‘About half the materials in your house will emit toxic smoke when they burn. Some chemicals we’d breathe include hydrogen sulfide and arsenic ‘“ it’s just a hazard of the job.’ Neither he nor Sharon said they had full understanding of the relationship to bladder cancer but said it might be related to exposure that overwhelms the body’s cleaning and clearing system. Ed credits his primary care physician Dr. Brian Cross and oncologist Dr. James Eaton, both of Griffin, for catching his condition early enough to make firm hope a reality. He said his first thought when he heard he had bladder cancer was, ‘Okay, what do we have to do to deal with this?’ It was a typical thought for the man who has a definite ‘do it now’ attitude about whatever he tackles. Sharon said, ‘He has an easiness about him that’s just a way of life for him. He says he has a lot to learn yet but he knows so much about so many things.’ An Arkansas native, Ed moved with his family at a young age to Atlanta, finally winding up in Barnesville in the early 1980s. Sharon grew up in Newton County and moved to Barnesville about 1995. Theirs is a second marriage for both and together they have six children, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, all of whom light up their lives. The Greers are members of First Baptist Church in Barnesville. Ed’s advice to anyone who wants to stay healthy: ‘Get outside, be active and most of all, pay attention to your body and get regular checkups. That could save your life.’

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