Despite all the bad days Judy McDaniel and Gloria McDougal have had, Thursday was a very good day for the Brown County cancer survivors. Both were selected by the members of the Brownwood Professional Firefighters Association to be the recipients of $1,300 — money that was raised through their pink T-shirt sales.
“You don’t know how much this will help,” McDaniel said. “I appreciate the fire department for doing this.”
Last Halloween, McDaniel was shocked to learn her persistent cough was Stage 3 lung cancer. She had the cough for a while but didn’t think anything of it since she was taking care of her husband who had heart disease.
“He kept telling me to go to the doctor,” McDaniel said. “I just told him, it’s probably just bronchitis. It wasn’t until some time after he died that I finally went.”
McDaniel also learned her cancer had metastasized to her brain and one of her kidneys.
“Finding out that I had cancer was the hardest thing,” McDaniel said. “I remember thinking, I have a grandson that I need to see grow up.”
While the road of treatment has been rough, McDaniel is confident she will get past this obstacle, and is ready to celebrate her 55th birthday on Saturday. McDaniel is currently waiting for her appointment in December to learn how the status of her cancer since undergoing treatment.
McDougal knew she was receiving a contribution from the Brownwood Professional Firefighters Association — she just never imagined it would be $1,300.
“I was shocked, amazed and touched,” McDougal said. “I wasn’t expecting it to be that much.”
McDougal was diagnosed with Stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer in April and underwent chemotherapy treatments.
“When it came time to do surgery, the tumor was the size of a tennis ball,” McDougal said.
From her incision healing slowly to the high cancer marker results, McDougal’s road to recovery has been tough, especially since she’s a diabetic. She also had polio in her left leg, which makes getting around difficult.
With all of her recent medical issues, McDougal currently resides in the CARE Apartments. Before moving into these apartments, McDougal was living in her parents’ home in Early.
“I’ve been retired for three years and didn’t have a house payment living at my parents’ home,” McDougal said. “This contribution will help out so much because I have to pay rent along with all the medications and more because of treatment.”
Harvey is hoping to make the pink T-shirt campaign an annual fund-raiser for local cancer patients in the Brown County area and is working with others to expand the fund-raising efforts to include a golf tournament.
“Next year, I hope we are able to help more survivors,” Harvey said.