A year and a half ago, Vicky Gibson of Oswego got some news that changed her life. Now she’s helping to change the lives of others.
Eighteen months ago, Gibson was diagnosed with breast cancer. While many may consider this a curse, Gibson says it was a gift. She’s been through the treatments and come out the other side, and now she’s able to guide others through the process, and offer peace of mind and hope.
“I had cancer, cancer didn’t have me,” she said “It brought me a lot closer to my friends and family.”
Those friends and family members turned out in force Friday night for the 9th annual Relay for Life of Oswego/Montgomery. For 12 hours, supporters of the American Cancer Society walked the track at Oswego High School, and 114 of those walkers belonged to Team Gibson.
Many of Team Gibson’s walkers were rounded up by Vicky’s two children – Tyler, 16, and Myranda, 13. But some of them were there to offer support to the woman who has helped them along their journeys with cancer.
Diana Mewmaw of Oswego relied on Gibson to help her through her own breast cancer treatments over the past several months. Gibson was able to tell her how she would feel after chemotherapy, just when Mewmaw’s hair would begin falling out, and which medications were best. Mewmaw refers to her as “my little angel.”
And when Barbara Janssen of Oswego had her own cancer scare last October, Gibson was there for her too.
“I dodged a bullet,” Janssen said. “But having her to talk to was huge. I didn’t have anyone else.”
That sense of community, of banding together around the survivors of cancer, is what Relay for Life is all about. On Friday night, more than 450 people turned up to walk and raise money until the closing ceremonies at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Fundraising totals are not available, but with a similar turnout last year, the American Cancer Society raised more than $96,500.
For more information, check out the Relay for Life website.