'Trying to be strong for each other' Cancer helps strengthen couple's bond


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In sickness and in health was the promise that Willard “Chips” and Mary Everhart of Seymour made to each other on their wedding day, but those words turned into action years later when Mary was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer.

The couple took each step of the journey together from diagnosis and treatment to a scary recurrence and finally to being able to say, “We survived.”

In July 2004, at age 48, Mary Everhart went in for a mammogram because she had noticed a lump, but it wasn’t the first time she thought there might be something wrong. A year earlier doctors had detected a small mass; however, she was told it was nothing serious.

“They thought it was a cyst,” she said.

But while on vacation, the mass became visible and sore.

“You could see it poking through the skin,” Willard Everhart said. “It was like a knot. That’s when I told her to call and get a second opinion.”

Back home a week later, Mary Everhart scheduled another mammogram and this time underwent a biopsy to find out once and for all what the mass was.

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