A former Sparksville man who has run in seven Boston Marathons recently took on a different kind of challenge — overcoming esophageal cancer.
That battle, which began for 59-year-old Terry Marcott seven months ago, involved all of the traditional treatment methods, including radiation and chemotherapy.
“And I had surgery in July,” Marcott said Saturday morning after finishing up the 5K run/walk during the seventh annual HOPE Medora Goes Pink breast cancer awareness event.
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The surgeries and treatments weakened him, but he’s now cancer-free and not slowing down much, Marcott said.
His struggle with the disease kept the Dallas, Texas, resident from running in this year’s 5K run/walk but didn’t stop him from participating.
Marcott first ran in the Boston Marathon in 1988 and finished 492nd out of 7,000 runners. In 1989, he finished 143rd out of 10,000 runners. He lived in Brownstown at that time.
Debra Wayman, the founder of HOPE Medora Goes Pink, recognized the 1975 Medora High School graduate with the HOPE Spirit Award.
Wayman said Marcott epitomizes the spirit of the event in part because he and many others helped her and her daughter, Deven Wayman-Shirley, establish HOPE Medora Goes Pink and have consistently stayed involved in the event.
She said he is just like the rest of us who are on a journey that has taken him down an unknown path and then another door opens.
“Terry has slowed down,” she said. “He didn’t run this year, but he did walk and finished the race, and he’s always been a good close friend. I grew up with him.”
Wayman said HOPE Medora Goes Pink requires support from those living in the community and others from elsewhere like Marcott who try to return each year to help.
One of those is Jane Crockett of Medora, Wayman said.
Crockett spends her time placing the names of cancer survivors and those who have passed away on the Wall of Hope inside Medora Christian Church’s 237 Building on George Street.
“I’ve been to every one except one,” Crockett said.
This year’s event featured some of the usual local cancer awareness draws such as Wilbur and Ann Hoevener’s pink tractor, Premier Energy’s pink propane tank and a couple of newcomers, including the HOPE Medora Goes Pink bicentennial bison and a pink semi owned by Sparks Transport LLC. That semi was brought to the event by Ryan Waugh of Lyons and his sons, Kayden Waugh, 5, and Michael Reed, 9.
Ryan Waugh said the truck was specially made by Peterbilt and nationally recognized by the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness organization.
“It was the road show truck,” he said. “It went around to all the road shows last year.”
Waugh said he drives the truck in recognition of his dad.
“He was my heart and soul, and he passed away from cancer 18 years ago,” he said. “It started off as bladder cancer.”
Waugh said the truck is taken to a lot of events around the area every year, but it’s also a working truck.
“I haul all over the country,” he said. “We represent not just people with breast cancer but anybody who has cancer, and we want to do our best to find a cure to take care of it.”
Rachelle Collins of Mitchell participated in the 5K with Cindy Vance of Bedford.
“We have done several 5Ks together, and we came here last year and came back this year to support a good cause,” Collins said.
The event has raised more than $40,000 since its inception, and those funds are distributed to people fighting cancer.
Anyone in Jackson County diagnosed with cancer can receive two $50 gift cards from Jay C Food Stores to help with food and fuel needs. Those living outside the county can receive a $100 money order to help them meet whatever needs they might have. All recipients receive a pink letter, explaining the gift of love being given, Wayman said.