North Alabama cancer survivor reflects on Governor Ivey's diagnosis

Courtesy: Mallory McCormack

The cancer survivor community stands behind Governor Kay Ivey and reminds others, the disease does not discriminate.

Posted: Sep 20, 2019 6:05 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2019 9:49 AM

Governor Kay Ivey is back in Montgomery Friday after getting her first procedure to treat lung cancer. Her office reported it went well and she is looking forward to returning to her normal schedule next week. 

Cancer survivors said Governor Ivey's diagnosis is a reminder that the disease does not discriminate. 

"Once you realize, you hear the words, you have cancer, that means something is growing inside of you that is not suppose to be growing there," Cancer Survivor Mallory McCormack said. 

At just 15, McCormack knew something was off. After two weeks of varying symptoms, she made an appointment with her doctor.

"I was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia," McCormack said. "It is the most prevalent type of childhood cancer."

It was not an easy journey, but after three years, she was cancer-free. She said it taught her more about herself than she could have ever imagined. When she heard of the governor's diagnosis, she said it brought her back to that moment she learned she had cancer.

"Cancer is not a political thing," McCormack said. "It doesn't matter what side of the aisle you are on, it can affect you."

Kaki Morrow with the American Cancer Society is confident the governor will become a survivor. Until then, she said she has the support from this community.

"We're just hopeful because of early detection, because of breakthroughs they've made in treatments,
that it'll be relatively smooth sailing," Morrow said. 

For McCormack , it will be 19 years Sunday since she won her battle. She said it is a reminder of the resilience and strength it takes to get through a deadly disease.

"I thinks she'll see that there are people of all walks of life that will join her and that will
get to call her survivor and bring her into our community," McCormack said. 

Morrow hopes Ivey will take this oppoer with cancer organizations such as the American Cancer Society. 

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