Kristy and Mark Shannon have taught in Worthington City schools since 1991. After growing up in Worthington, Kristy moved to Worthington to raise her son Jack and daughter Kasey. In December of 2017, Kristy was experiencing pains in her side that she had attributed to a pulled muscle. After a week of attempting to rehab a possible strain, the pain got worse and she finally went to the Emergency Room. While waiting for a simple remedy, Kristy learned the pain she was experiencing was actually a massive tumor pushing on her liver. After further testing, it was determined that she had stage IV colorectal cancer, with multiple tumors in her lungs and liver that had originated in her colon. She immediately started chemotherapy at the James and continued to teach fifth graders at Worthington Park Elementary, because as Kristy says, “Fifth graders can take one’s mind off cancer as soon as they walk into the classroom.”
To say that a cancer diagnosis changes one’s life in the ultimate understatement. As Divinity professor and Stage IV colorectal patient Kate Bowler said in her book, Everything Happens for a Reason and the other lies I’ve loved, “Cancer requires that I stumble around in the debris of dreams that I thought I was entitled to and plans I didn’t realize I had made. But cancer also ushered in new ways of being alive.” Kristy is determined to be MORE alive now than ever before and is grateful for all of the prayers, positive messages, and support given to her and her family.
Michael Richard was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2017, at the age of 27. As he was preparing to marry his love, Genevieve in just over 100 days, he had thought he had come down with some awful food poisoning, and just needed some Pepto. Yet, his symptoms did not ever really clear up.
Michael has been blogging about his experience and you can read more about it here.