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Prayers and people support family with four cancer victims

By Kay S. Pedrotti After the death of one beloved family member recently, his survivors debated whether to talk to the newspaper about their ordeal. ’If it will help somebody to know what we’re going through, and help them support their own family members who are diagnosed with cancer, we’re ready to tell the story,’ said Patty Johnson, whose brother John Stacey Curry, 51, died of widespread cancer in his liver, lungs and abdomen. ’My brother was diagnosed in July 2014 and the doctors said he could live about a month without treatment, or six months with treatment. He had both radiation and chemo, and made it almost a year,’ Johnson added. ‘I have a doctor’s appointment soon and I’m having every test I can have. Everybody should pay attention and if there is any cancer, catch it early.’ Curry’s aunt, Sandra Robinson Wimberly, said her brothers both have wives who are suffering from cancer now. One brother, Danny Robinson, has cancer that started in his sinuses and has been told it is incurable, she said. His wife, Pam, has colon and liver cancer. Sandra’s younger brother Jack is cancer-free but his wife Kathy went into hospice care on the day Stacey Curry died, Johnson said. Kathy beat back an onslaught of esophageal cancer in 2012, ‘but it came back about six months ago,’ said Kathy’s daughter Amy Barnett. Kathy is now being treated for cancer in two lymph nodes and her bloodstream, and a tumor attached to her windpipe, Barnett added. Sandra commented, ‘I’m the healthy one, even though I have COPD. I’m helping Danny and Pam as much as I can, taking them back and forth to doctors. Danny is withdrawing and doesn’t want to eat. ’Pam found out about her cancer when she was taking physical therapy after surgery for a bone spur in her knee. She had pain in her side she thought was a pulled muscle, but a biopsy found her cancer.’ The family members have been treated by several doctors, including Dr. Bradley Sumrall and Dr. Bruce Burns of Central Georgia Cancer Center in Macon and Dr. Jorge Spinolo of Griffin. The families agree that all the medical personnel involved have been very caring and very honest through the years. ’I miss my brother Stacey more than anybody will ever know,’ said Patty Johnson, ‘but in the last two weeks of his life I prayed for God to take him and end his suffering.’ Stacey was a believer in God, she said, but very stoic about his illness. He even concealed it as long as he could from his son, 25-yearold Jonathan Travis Curry, said Johnson. Amy Barnett added that her mom ‘has really been through it.’ Kathy had brain surgery in 2005, then throat cancer, bacterial growth on the outside of her lungs and a heart attack after chemotherapy. ‘But she’s still feisty, still running the house,’ said Barnett. Patty Johnson said she has participated in Relay for Life in Griffin to help her daughter, a teacher at Futral Road Elementary School. She had much praise for the Barnesville and surrounding community members who ‘were just phenomenal’ in helping Stacey with fundraisers. ’Dealing with cancer is something you can’t really know about until it hits your family. We had never seen cancer in our family until this epidemic of family members, and I pray we never see it again. It’s something no family members should ever see — especially four at a time,’ she said. The family would appreciate help with transportation and other expenses; call Johnson at 478-955-3558.

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