Johnson County —
When Joshua pastor Jerry Clements was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, one of the rarest of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, four years ago he said he was scared but he turned to God.
With chemotherapy treatments Clements has been in remission and cancer free for four years. Since being in remission he has participated in Relay For Life of Johnson County every year with his family beside him.
Saturday marks the 12th annual Relay For Life of Johnson County with events scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Cleburne High School track. The event will start with a survivors lap in which cancer survivors take a victory lap. There will also be a luminaria ceremony to honor cancer survivors and remember those who have lost the battle to cancer.
“It’s such a special occasion because everyone there has gone through the same thing,” Clements said. “I’ve met so many people and have been able to identify myself with them. I look forward to participating again this year.”
Clements, pastor of Lane Prairie Baptist Church in Joshua, said he received so much support from his congregation and family. He knows people from his church and family who have had cancer that helped him through the healing process.
However, for some families Relay is a time to meet people in similar situations after facing cancer alone like the Dosch family.
In 2013, Cleburne resident Rachel Dosch’s 7-year-old son was finally diagnosed with synovial sarcoma after doctors couldn’t find what was wrong with his legs.
“He couldn’t walk for more than 10-15 minutes without being in so much pain,” Dosch said.
Doctors at first thought it was a problem with his nerve endings. But after running further tests, they found a tumor in his leg.
“As a mother, it’s the worst feeling in the world to hear your own child has cancer,” said Dosch, who is originally from England. “I lost both my parents to cancer and then to hear that my son has cancer ... just awful.”