LIVERMORE — The list of Renda Guild’s hometown heroes is long — too long to fit on one T-shirt, she said.

Each has his or her own story about dealing with cancer, whether it is told by someone who has survived or one who was left behind, she said.

Guild, a member of Fitness Fanatics, has dedicated her 5K run/walk challenge on Saturday, Oct. 12, to some of those heroes who will benefit the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Lewiston. It is the first day of the two-day event.

“It is for the people who have fought the battle and continuously struggle to fight the battle,” Guild said of her effort. “These are the people who make you want to raise money.”

The fundraising helps keep the Dempsey Center helping people, the Livermore woman said.

“There are so many people in this wonderful community who don’t complain. These are my heroes,” she said. “It is so easy to do this for them.”

The front of the shirt she will wear this year has on it the words, “For the love of Les Boothby,” and the pink ribbon symbolizing cancer awareness. The back of it has names of more than a dozen people. An initial shirt was made and is undergoing modifications,  including spelling and name additions.

Some of the T-shirts will be on sale throughout the year with a percentage of the proceeds going to the Dempsey Challenge. Next year, there will be a whole new set of names on a shirt.

Norma Boothby, the widow of Les Boothby, still tears up when she thinks about her loss and what her husband went through before he died nearly 13 years ago.

“I feel like he should walk through the door right now,” the Livermore woman said. “He was such fun. He made me laugh; that is the great thing.”

The two were childhood sweethearts and married for 47 years. He was the fifth generation of farmers at Boothby Farm.

He had lymphoma and after treatment, it had been reduced to scar tissue, she said.

“We thought he was doing fine,” she said.

But in 2000 she saw that he was tiring easily. He went back to the doctors and he was diagnosed with leukemia. They tried to put him in remission but it didn’t work. He was put in the intensive care unit on a respirator. When it was removed four days later, he was gone.

“He was so many things. He was an exceptional father,” Boothby said. “He was a good farmer. He took care of the land. He also liked the military, but he was earmarked for the farm.”

Jean Tardif of Livermore also tears up when talking about the struggle her mother, Edna Bryant, lost with cancer 16 years ago.

She had lymphoma and underwent treatment. She had been cancer-free for seven years, then the lymphoma came back and they cured her again, Tardif said.

“The tests they were doing on that didn’t catch the colon cancer,” Tardif said. “When they found it, she lived six months. I moved right in and lived with her for three months.”

Bryant underwent chemotherapy and radiation, but it didn’t work.

“My mother was a hero,” Tardif said. “She never complained. She had a great attitude up until the end. She kept her sense of humor.”

Boothby baked 35 pies and dozens of cookies and cupcakes for a recent bake sale to benefit the center, Guild said. The sale raised $567.

“Throughout this whole year we have seen more of our community go through and struggle with cancer,” she said. “It’s a horrible disease.”

[email protected]


Facebook comments