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Local Survivors: Look for the blessings

CHAMPAIGN -- Being married, raising a family. It can all be challenging enough, but when a life-threatening health issue gets thrown in the mix, it's a lot to deal with.
CHAMPAIGN -- Being married, raising a family. It can all be challenging enough, but when a life-threatening health issue gets thrown in the mix, it's a lot to deal with. But, one couple is taking it on as a team. WCIA-3's Jillian Deam meets these Local Survivors.

Ann and Mark Reid work well as a team. He's a roofing contractor, she helps with bookkeeping. And they both like to kick back and enjoy a game together.

"We go to ballgames, movies, eat out."

"Nothing changed after the heart attack other than eating a little better."

"Yeah, we try."

A team which only tries harder when things get tough.

"I said, 'I think I'm having a heart attack.'"

"You were at a softball game when this happened?"

"I was pitching."

"It was 98% blocked. He should have been dead. It was the main artery, but God must have plans for us."

They believe there has to be a plan, after all they've overcome.

"I was diagnosed with rectal cancer, had blood in my stool."

Ann went through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

"I got toxic from the chemo and was in the hospital for four days."

But, this team was as strong as ever.

"He spent ten hours a day in the hospital with me. He was the rock, he took me to radiation every day and sat with me in the hospital and was there when I said, 'I can't take it anymore.'"

But, throughout everything, Mark and Ann say, all they were doing, was looking for the blessings. Mementos like this one from friends helped Ann while she was in the hospital.

"We had a friend who was praying for us. She got an answer from God saying, 'Anne is my servant and I'm with her.' So that was a change in my faith. I knew I was going to get through this."

And they got through it together. The same way they plan to take on the next challenge.

"Oh no, here we go again."

Just a month ago, they learned Mark has prostate cancer.

"It's a change from being the patient to being the caregiver. Now he's moving to being a survivor."

While it seems like these survivors can't catch a break, Mark and Ann say they don't see it that way.

"Well, she had cancer, she got a break, she's around. I had a heart attack, I'm around, I got a break. I mean, prostate cancer, slowing growing, that's a pretty good break. God never said you'll have a break."

"Yeah, He just said He'll be there with you."

Mark and Ann will be there too, side-by-side, beating the odds as a team. Mark's cancer was growing very slowly, so it was removed and doctors are helping him monitor his health.

If you're a local survivor, the American Cancer Society is hosting its first Cancer Survivor's Breakfast on Saturday. It's free for survivors and caregivers.

American Cancer Society's Survivor Breakfast
Saturday, November 9
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
2101 South Prospect Avenue, Champaign
7:30 - 10:30 am
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