A three-year breast cancer survivor and former employee at Brownwood High School will be honored as the adult survivor honoree for this year’s Brown County Relay for Life.
Norlene Gleaton, a retiree who worked a combined 30 years as a secretary at both Brownwood and Early Independent School Districts, will be represented during this year’s Relay for Life (April 22-23) when she steps off the helicopter for the traditional entrance at Gordon Wood Stadium.
Gleaton, 68, is in remission, and will continue to visit the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas for checkups until she is cancer-free for five years.
“I am blessed with wonderful friends and family who have supported me on this journey,” Gleaton said on a recent weekday afternoon at Brownwood High School, where she was met with flowers and a set of purple balloons issued by former employees and Relay for Life officials.
Gleaton, a BHS graduate of 1966, thanked her children for helping her fight the cancer: Mike and Shawna Gleaton of Brownwood, Todd and Kristie Gleaton of Waco, and Alicia and Gene Pool of Lucas (about 30 miles northeast of Dallas).
Gleaton, who was secretary to the principal for six years after serving 24 as food service secretary at Early ISD, also acknowledged her six “wonderful” grandchildren, whom she calls “the light of my life.” She added that her mother, Doris Parsons, who resides at Vicksburg Retirement Community, “continues to encourage me.”
As for now, Gleaton, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2013, continues to “stay very busy.” She has stayed involved with local school systems by substitute teaching at Brownwood and Early ISDs, and watching her grandchildren “do their thing” by being involved in sports and drama events.
“Breast cancer is a lifelong battle you fight every day,” she said. “You can choose to live in fear or love life. I choose loving life.”