‘Cancer Freeze’ adds five new beneficiaries

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sheryl Evans and Stacey Spears Leddon are known as “Team PHS” by family and friends.

Sheryl Evans and Stacey Spears Leddon are known as “Team PHS” by family and friends.

Another five Cancer Freeze beneficiaries have been announced, bringing the total to seven; however, organizers aren’t stopping there, organizer Caleb Davidson said.

Davidson began the fundraising event in 2007 in memory of family and friends who had passed away with cancer. For a $20 entry fee, skiers brave the waters of Florala’s Lake Jackson in the middle of the winter – which led to the name “Cancer Freeze.” It will be held on Sat., Feb. 1, 2014.

This year’s benefit proceeds will be divided among nine people – two of Florala, four from Andalusia, two from Paxton, Fla., and another from Crestview, Fla.

The first two announced were 4-year-old Rylan Pettie of Andalusia and Glenn Morris of Crestview, Fla.

Now, supporters know they will also help Sheryl Evans and Stacey Spears Leddon of Paxton; Richard Barnes of Florala; and Megan Kelley and Bailey Byrd of Andalusia in their recovery process.
Evans and Leddon – or Team PHS to family and friends – are battling breast cancer.

Evans, who worked as a paraprofessional at Paxton School, is no stranger to cancer. She battled cervical cancer in 1997 and then breast cancer in 2005.

Leddon, a teacher at Paxton High School, was diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer on July 17, has undergone a bilateral mastectomy and is currently undergoing treatment.

The fifth recipient is a Florala businessman – Richard Barnes. The owner of Cox’s Hardware, Barnes said he never dreamed he had cancer when he went in for a colonoscopy. Doctors found a tumor in his rectum, and it was later removed. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

“I was lucky because it was found early,” he said. “I would highly recommend that everyone have regular checkups, especially if there are any warning signs that something may be wrong.”

Most in Andalusia and the surrounding areas are no strangers to the stories of the sixth and seventh CF recipients – Megan Kelley and Bailey Byrd.

On Monday, Kelley – an Andalusia High School senior and the 2013 homecoming queen – was undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor located on the front side of her spine. Diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in July, Kelley’s story has motivated a community. She must now undergo 12-14 rounds of chemotherapy.

Byrd’s journey began on March 24, when at 21, she was diagnosed with Juvenile Granulosa Cell Tumor, a very rare form of ovarian cancer – so rare that only about 3 percent of the population has been diagnosed with it. She is currently undergoing treatment at MD Anderson in Houston.

For those wishing to participate, donate or sponsor, contact Davidson at 850-978-3726, by e-mail at calebadavidson@yahoo.com, visit the organization’s Facebook page or by mail at P.O. Box 92, Florala, AL 36442.