Thursday, March 21, 2013

Living as a Survivor


Margo Hunt can’t remember a time when she wasn’t a cancer survivor

Cancer has always been a familiar word in my vocabulary. I was only three months old when I was diagnosed. I cannot remember a time when I was not a survivor. I beat liver cancer by the time I was one, but the journey wasn’t over-it was just starting.

The battle with cancer never ends.

For years, survivors deal with side effects of the treatments. 

For me, it meant years of surgery.  I had tubes put in my ears right after I finished chemotherapy at age one. The idea was to prevent infections, but instead it caused my right eardrum to melt. To this day and despite reconstructive surgery, I still have a hole in my ear and significant hearing loss.  I am a 21-year-old woman, who wears a hearing aid. I walk straight thanks to surgeries that placed and then removed growth plates from my knees. A side effect of cancer is uneven growth on each side of your body.  The plates helped me stay even, while one side had time to catch up. It’s not a side effect you often hear of, but it happens and it makes adolescence that much harder.
Delta Omicron chapter members at the 2012 Morehead State University Relay for Life
  Margo is seventh from the left.

When I think about the medical care that I’ve had, the surgeries and challenges I’ve survived, I think of my parents. They are my biggest cheerleaders and standing next to them cheering me on, is my Delta Gamma family.

Now that I’ve beaten the disease, it is my mission to help create a world where my family, Delta Gamma sisters and friends never have to suffer from cancer.  I met Delta Gamma in the fall of 2009; I fell in love and felt at home instantly.  I knew this group of women would not only accept me, but provide me with my home away from home. 

During the past three years, I’ve worked diligently in the fight against cancer. I hosted fundraisers and helped spread awareness.  Delta Gamma provided me with the foundation of support I needed during my philanthropic endeavors.  I received support not only from my chapter, but chapters across the United States.  By sharing my story in the 2010 winter issue of the ANCHORA I was able to connect with fellow cancer survivor and Gamma Mu-Florida State alumna, Diem Brown. Diem was on the MTV Real World/Road Rules challenges while undergoing her treatment.  Her hope and strength made her a huge role model for me as a 16-year-old getting a hearing aid.  Also, this past summer I was offered an internship with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the San Francisco, California fundraising office.  Through Twitter I was able to connect with the San Francisco alumnae group.  They were extremely helpful in my search to find temporary housing in the area.  While I did not end up taking the internship, the support I received from that group is something I will cherish forever.   

Right now I’m interning for the American Cancer Society. My main job was to host the 2012 Morehead State University Relay for Life. The event was an immense success, with much credit going to my Delta Omicron-Morehead State sisters.  Delta Gamma had the highest fundraising total and the funniest “on the hour” event which made the Relay extremely rewarding. However, the real reward was the reminder of how much Delta Gamma means to me.  During the “in honor” lap, all of my Delta Omicron sisters walked around me;  some had tears in their eyes and some held my hand and hugged me, but as we walked past the glowing bag with my name on it, we were all thankful.

Margo Hunt, Delta Omicron–Morehead State, is a cancer survivor living in Morehead, Kentucky. She is senior history major. She has future plans to attend law school. You can reach Margo at mahunt@moreheadstate.edu.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for most liver cancers. This type of cancer occurs more often in men than women. It is usually seen in people age 50 or older.

For more information on Hepatocellular carcinoma:

1 comment:

  1. I'm so honored and thankful to be able to call Margo a sister. I have watched her grow through her time at Morehead State into the amazing young woman that she is. She is an inspiration to me and to the people she meets. Margo you are an amazing person, I will be very sad to see you graduate but extremely confident that you will do amazing things! Love you!!!
    Lauren Buck

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