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Jerry Farr overcoming family cancer history

By Kay S. Pedrotti A woman whose warmth radiates to everyone she meets, Jerry Farr of Yatesville is now cancerfree since surgery in 2011 for endometrial cancer. Farr has many ties to Barnesville and Lamar County, including her son Mark and his wife Sherry, who is county nurse manager at the Lamar health department, and son Michael and wife Angela who live in Lamar. She also has a daughter Tracey and her husband Ben Rapillard. She credits Sherry, Angela and other nurses in the family with much help in managing her physical and emotional state for many years, not only since she had cancer. Farr says she knows she is blessed. The diagnosis of endometrial cancer came through the day she got home from having knee surgery. She had to wait a month to have the cancer removed. Despite the wait, she has had no chemo, radiation or medication and feels wonderful. ’I have to commend my doctors in Thomaston and particularly Dr. Jeffrey Hines of Riverdale who did the cancer surgery. Afterwards he wrote a prescription on his pad for my husband Sterling ‘“ ‘Baby your wife for at least a year.’ It’s still hanging on their refrigerator and Sterling is still on the job, says Jerry. The couple knew each other in high school in Bessemer, Ala.; they married after both had finished college and Sterling had earned his U.S. Navy flight wings. He spent more than 12 years in the Navy, she notes, but decided to resign his commission when his absences with the Navy were so frequent and unpredictable their younger son ‘went to school and told the teacher he didn’t have a daddy.’ Sterling then flew for Eastern Air Lines until it folded, starting in New York and ending up in Atlanta. They found their country home at that time, a house built in the 1830s by the Perdue family. ‘I truly feel like a fortunate and blessed person,’ she says. ‘My mother died at 86 with breast cancer, my sister at 67 with lung cancer and my father at 67 with kidney cancer. He suffered enough for all of us; my mother was never happy after he died so she refused treatment when her cancer was diagnosed. She never was in pain.’ She also lost her best friend, Mary Park (Sherry’s mother) to cancer several years ago. When she went into surgery, says Jerry, ‘I wasn’t afraid. For some reason I asked the man who was wheeling me to the operating room if he’d please hold my hand. He did, all the way there. Sometimes there are subconscious needs that have to come out ‘“ anyone who is dealing with cancer should remember this and not ignore the need for support wherever it can be found.’ Her advice to those worried about cancer: ‘Get your checkups regularly, and above all have faith.’ Her extended family at Ramah Church keeps her going, she says. She also encourages participation in Relay for Life, to be held in Barnesville May 3 at the recreation field off Gordon Road, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. ’I’ll be happy to be in that survivors’ lap,’ she said.

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