By Crystal Burns
Mark Gibson and Glenda Martin will represent the Trenton community at Gibson County Relay For Life Saturday at Shady Acres Park in Trenton.
The two were selected as honorary chairpersons for the countywide event.
Gibson, owner of Gibson’s Grill, a restaurant and catering service that operates out of the Trenton Elks Lodge, is currently seeking treatment for liver cancer. In January, doctors began trying to put Gibson on an organ donation list, but last week he learned the surgery would be too risky due to his numbers. Gibson was diagnosed with cancer last year.
Gibson said he felt fine, but his family and friends were concerned about him. They told him his color didn’t look right. He was also losing weight. After lots of testing, the diagnosis came. He had ablations done.
“It just didn’t do what it was supposed to do,” he said.
Now doctors are trying to address his “cancer count,” which is currently at 3,000. It would need to be at 500 for a liver transplant to be considered. Gibson said he would probably go back on chemotherapy soon.
Though he and his family are concerned, Gibson remains hopeful.
“I believe it’s going to work out,” he said. “I’ve just got that feeling.”
He’s grateful to have a wide network of support. After learning of Gibson’s diagnosis, several friends got together to host a fundraiser for Gibson’s considerable medical expenses. The results were overwhelming.
“I just cried,” Gibson said. “I didn’t know I had that many friends.”
Martin’s story is similar to many women diagnosed with breast cancer. She went for her yearly mammogram in September 2017, which revealed a suspicious dark spot on her left breast. She was referred to a surgeon right away. The surgeon suggested they keep a watch on the area and scheduled another mammogram in December.
After a 3D mammogram, doctors did a biopsy, which confirmed the spot was benign. Martin had another mammogram and biopsy done in March 2018. Those test results showed a malignant cancer cell.
On April 20, 2018, Martin underwent a lumpectomy. Doctors concluded that all cancer cells had been removed. She began four weeks of radiation treatment in June. Then, she began taking a chemo medication, which had significant side affects. After trying three different medications and doing blood work, Martin’s doctor detected the medicine was only working at 2% and discontinued it.
Martin is cancer free.
“I encourage everyone, please do not put off having your yearly checkups,” she said. “They can save your life.”
This is the second year Relay For Life committees from across the county will join forces to host one event. The tentative schedule for June 15 is:
6 p.m. Opening Ceremony – presentation of honorary chairs, survivors’ lap and caregivers’ lap
7 School of Rock
7:20 Minute to Win It
7:30 Pet Parade
8 Blues Brothers
8:20 Minute to Win It
8:30 Line Dancing Class
9 Tony Burriss
9:20 Minute to Win It
9:30 Miss Greater Gibson County Maddie Vernon
9:45 Miss West Tennessee Abbie Bayless
10 Luminaria Ceremony
11 Fighting Back Ceremony