By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — Paine Intermediate School third grade teacher Amy Kuhn was in picture perfect health while in high school.
Kuhn, as a sophomore, played softball, volleyball and ran three miles per day. She began having pain in her right side, a pain that swelled big. One day while out for a run, she couldn’t make it a quarter of a mile.
After scheduling an appointment with a pediatric doctor, she was referred to a radiologist, who found a mass in her abdomen. She had major surgery in March 2002, in which 95 percent of a cancerous tumor was removed. Kuhn lost 61 pounds and all her hair.
After more than five months of chemotherapy, Kuhn, now 27, she was declared in remission. It took her six months of physical therapy to learn to walk again. She went from a wheelchair to a walker to slowly walking by herself.
Kuhn said going through cancer is part of why she participates in Relay for Life. She is the co-chair of this year’s event in Trussville, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Friday at the youth football field in the Trussville Sports Complex.
Kuhn said research and money raised through events such as Relay for Life are what saved her life. She was recognized last year by the American Cancer Society as a “Hero for Hope,” someone who travels to various events to tell their cancer story.
There’s another interesting plot related to Kuhn’s involvement in Relay for Life this year. Her dog, Samson, who showed up at her residence on Christmas day in 2007, had surgery about three weeks ago to have a cancerous tumor removed. Kuhn predicted the black pit bull is about 8 years old.
“You’re going to walk with me at Relay,” she said she’s told Samson.
“That’s what it’s all about, is to have a good time with people that you love and to show that there is hope and that maybe one day we can find a cure,” Kuhn said.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.