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After Rare Cancer Spreads to Brain, 1 Line About God from Terminal Patient Spreads Chills

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When something that’s usually rare happens once or twice, we typically dismiss it as coincidence. But what about when it occurs among four women all roughly the same age who went to school at the same university?

That’s the situation a quartet of former Auburn University students are facing as they battle an extremely rare cancer: ocular melanoma, a cancer of the eye. Though melanoma is most often thought of as a sun-related skin cancer, ocular melanoma attacks the pigmented sections of the eye and seems to have no connection with solar radiation.

It’s also extremely rare, afflicting only six out of every million people. That’s what makes its sudden appearance among four women in the Auburn, Alabama, area so striking.

“I was just seeing some mild flashes of light for, say, seven to 10 days,” Allyson Allred told CBS News as she described her diagnosis in 2001. “(The doctor) said, ‘Well, (your retina is) detached because there’s a 10-millimeter melanoma sitting on it.”

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Two of Allred’s friends also ended up suffering from the disease, a fact that shocked Dr. Marlana Orloff of Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia. “Most people don’t know anyone with this disease,” she stated.

“We said, ‘OK, these girls were in this location, they were all definitively diagnosed with this very rare cancer. What’s going on?’”

Experts have also discovered a similarly baffling cluster of ocular melanoma cases in Huntersville, North Carolina. But while they may not know what’s causing the disease, they’re still trying their hardest to save their patients’ lives.

Sadly, the treatment regimen is often horrific. Surgeons often have to remove the afflicted eye.

One of Allred’s acquaintances chose to keep her eye, and the cancer spread to her liver. For Allred, her cancer has returned nine different times, and doctors recently discovered it in a horrible location.

“Two days ago, (I) found out that it’s come back to my brain,” she explained. “So I’m actually gonna have radiation on my brain tomorrow.”

When asked by a CBS correspondent how she could possibly deal with such horrible circumstances, Allred gave an inspiring, faith-filled answer: “It’s totally the Lord, totally the Lord that has carried us through every step of it.”

Chilling and powerful, as is her hope that further medical funding will save others from the dark path she’s had to walk. If anyone deserves prayers and praise, it’s this brave Alabama cancer fighter.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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