The Family Y of Greater Augusta

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A Cancer Warrior - Lorin Ross

Don’t use the word “survivor” to describe Lorin Ross. 76-year-old Ross describes himself as a warrior.

“I’m a cancer warrior. And I’m winning every day.”

In 2002, a routine check-up at the doctor led this warrior to his initial cancer diagnosis. Ross noticed his left nipple was inverted prior to the doctor’s appointment and mentioned it to his doctor. Ross’ doctor immediately sent him for a biopsy, which began his cancer battle.

Following Ross’ biopsy, he began rounds of chemotherapy for six months. Chemotherapy helped Mr. Ross feel better, and was in the clear with doctors following this initial round of treatment. Four years later, Ross found a small lump which led to an additional eight sessions of radiation. Currently, Ross is battling stage four breast cancer that has spread to his spine.

Researchers estimate over 2,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men will be discovered in 2017, but early detection as with any disease is critical. Ross says the first warning sign he noticed prior to his cancer diagnosis, the inverted nipple, should’ve been noticed sooner. So what does Ross recommend men do to stay on alert for cancer warning signs?

“Men need to self-check themselves as much as women do,” says Ross. “Be aware of any noticeable changes as well…I didn’t have any pain or anything like that.”

Mr. Ross says he’s always heard about the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, but never realized how much of a difference it would mean for him personally dealing with cancer. As a current LIVESTRONG at the YMCA participant, he can already see a noticeable difference in himself, feeling better across the board with more energy and feeling much stronger. He encourages others battling cancer to use every resource possible to keep fighting:

“In the face of what you’re dealing with, why not? Why not use all the ammunition you can to fight this?” Ross says. “I firmly believe this is part of any cure, to get yourself physically fit to strengthen your body to fight this [disease] better.”

Through it all, Ross continues to stay positive in combatting cancer. His most recent scan results show he’s on the upward climb to recovery. He leans on a quote from Senator John McCain as his life mantra since his cancer diagnosis: “Be grateful for the day.”

Keep fighting the good fight Lorin! We’re proud of all of our cancer survivors/thrivers/warriors and stand with you as you fight this disease.

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