Survivors come together

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Barry Byers has had colon cancer since 2009 but he’s no victim.

The 60-year-old Navasota resident has become an advocate for the cause and is participating as a committee member on Madison County’s Relay for Life, scheduled for April 30.

“It’s not important for me; it’s important for my family,” Byers said Friday at a dinner for survivors and caregivers held at the Truman Kimbro Center.

The father of eight and grandfather of seven is married to a registered nurse and works at Navasota Industrial Supply – even on “chemo days.” Since his diagnosis he has remained determined to not change his lifestyle or his positive attitude.

“It’s been a journey but it’s been a happy journey,” Byers said. “I’m not suffering. The only way we’re going to beat this disease is to educate and raise money.”

The American Cancer Society, which donates 74 cents on every dollar to cancer research, counts Relay for Life as its biggest fundraiser of the year. The Madison County event is set for April 30 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Lake Madison, 1215 East Collard, Madisonville.

Cancer Society donates 74 cents of every dollar to research.

Last year’s local Relay for Life raised just more than $21,000. This year’s local fundraising goal is $31,000.

Byers said he strives to encourage other cancer survivors that “75 percent of it is attitude.”

“You get out of it what you put into it,” he said. “You live or you die. If you curl up in a ball on the couch, it’s going to take you quicker.”

For more information about Relay for Life, contact Community Manager Erin Robinson at erin.robinson@cancer.org or (979) 776-1464.

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