BY REBECCA PALMER
BOUNTIFUL — Not long after Marley Sinquefield was born, the local girl’s doctors found a tumor on her kidney. The childhood cancer, when it finally came out, was half the size of the soccer ball.
By age 3, Marley had undergone rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
A few years later, Marley has regrown beautiful blond hair and is cancer free, but still supports cancer prevention and research fundraisers with her older brother, Brody.
Last Saturday, the siblings joined with several adult cancer survivors for a fashion show as a fundraiser with Bountiful Soroptomist International, a service-oriented women’s group.
Beyond modeling modern fashions, many of the cancer survivors told their stories to the lunchtime crowd.
Roxanne William’s journey started with a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner that took place just after her husband had finished his own battle with cancer.
Williams became ill during the special meal and was rushed to Lakeview Hospital, she said. There, doctors discovered that she had a rare form of appendicular cancer.
Her experience taught her a few practical things, such as what to bring to the hospital for an extended stay: a housecoat and slippers, she recommends.
It also taught her about how to talk to people facing cancer.
After a few crushing experiences with visitors who only wanted to talk about death, her daughter made a sign for the door of her room.
“Please only enter with a smile and a cheery heart,” it read. “Otherwise, you’re not coming into my room.”
Fellow cancer survivor Sheri Hamilton, a realtor with Prudential, agreed.
“If you don’t have a story of survival to tell someone, just go ahead and let it pass,” she said.
The event was held on the last weekend of October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Beyond sharing their stories, many of the survivors insisted that audience members know their bodies and get regular cancer screenings to catch the deadly disease early on.
One woman, Dana Geddes, told about how she stopped looking for cancer 20 years before she and her husband found a problem, but that the experience taught her a new way of thinking about self-exams.
Geddes had a family history of cancer, and found that every time she looked for cancer on her own body, she became overwhelmed with fear and anxiety.
Now, she realizes that she shouldn’t have been “looking for cancer” at those times, but simply getting to know her own body.
In addition to telling of strife and suffering, almost every cancer survivor told about how their experiences helped them grow and gave them new realizations.
“I can’t talk about my cancer and not talk about God,” said Hamilton. “I had to remind myself that this was not about me Й God loves me, but that doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen.”