Jimmy and Jennifer Lucas, seated center, are surrounded by family and special friends, as
they are encouraged on their journey of fighting Jimmy's colon cancer.
"Jimmy Lucas....We Got This!"
A Spirit-Filled Journey With
Colon Cancer and Beyond
by: Bobby McDonald
July 19th, 2012.......a day in infamy for the Jimmy Lucas family, of Sulphur Springs! That was the day that Jimmy was diagnosed with colon cancer and told that he had a tumor the size of a coke can! At 48 years old, he wasn't even old enough to have the generally recommended colon scope exam at age 50. He'd experienced some symptoms of fatigue, but had just attributed them to getting older and having some "aches and pains" to deal with. "It hits you flat in the face when it's you they are telling that has cancer!" expressed Jimmy. "Yes, you hate to hear it about a friend, neighbor or relative, but it all comes home, when the doctor tells you and begins talking about a treatment regimen, surgery, and the like!"
Since the diagnosis, Jimmy has learned a lot about colon cancer and how it can impair the life of you and your family. He warns everyone to make certain that they get the recommended colon scope exam, at age 50, but he also adds that if your family has a history of the disease to do it earlier and to undergo genetic testing to see if you may be affected. Jimmy's father had died of colon cancer, but he didn't know he needed to be tested earlier.
Friends in Kansas have ordered the bracelets and joined Jimmy's fight!
Jimmy's treatment regimen was planned and he has just completed a radical 27 radiation treatments and 54 chemotherapy treatments, and will undergo surgery to remove the tumor, on November 1st at Baylor, in Dallas. Then, there will be a follow-up of six months of additional chemotherapy treatments!
"One day you're doing fine, and then you learn that you have cancer!" continued Jimmy. "But, then you must decided if cancer is going to control you or if you are going to take ownership of your life, and vow to beat it! I chose the later!"
With the support of his family......his wife Jennifer, a nurse; his two children, Tyler, age 24, and Kylie, age 21; and soon a host of friends and support, Jimmy has been showered with love, support, and spiritual faith to overcome this dreadful disease!
Jimmy and Jennifer Lucas, at last year's ABC Autoplex Toy Drive, before they had any idea
that that their lives would be affected by colon cancer.
"I'm just amazed at the support of my friends, family, neighbors, and people whom I don't even know!" expressed Jimmy. "The treatments make you sick and you'll be up all hours of the day and night, and there are those people that will come on Facebook and make sure that I'm doing alright, if I haven't 'checked-in' with them in a while!"
And, because of the social media sight, Facebook, it was friends that finally convinced Jimmy and his family to "go public" with his illness. Friends, Laura Ballard and Kim Dorner, both friends from high school days, asked Jimmy if they could make a Facebook Page for him, so that friends could offer their support and motivation. "I was reluctant at first," expressed Jimmy. "Even though I was an avid user of this form of being connected to others, I didn't know if I wanted all of my personal information revealed. But, the page has proved to be one of my major motivations and continues to amaze me!"
To date, the page, "Jimmy Lucas.....Together "We Got This!" has over 900 friends and is growing daily, as more and more people join, leave messages of support, and relate positive inspiration to Jimmy and his family. "Yes, some of the messages have made this 'big boy' cry," relates Jimmy. "When you hear from friends as far away as Brazil and Australia, and all over the U.S., it begins to show you how powerful social media is and just how connected we are to one another!"
The Commerce Fire Department has joined Jimmy's journey!
Through the page, Jimmy has been able to offer his hope and inspiration to others, and receive daily inspiration from those who "drop by" to add their support, in a way that 10 years ago would have been completely unheard of!
And, that's when Jimmy's great-niece, Amber Thomas, came up with the idea of offering rubber bracelets with "We Got This! Jimmy Lucas" imprinted on them, for a $5.00 or more donation, to help defray medical costs and travel expenses, not covered by insurance. "Regardless of how good your insurance is, there are so, so many costs associated with a debilitating disease, that you have no idea about, until the costs begin to mount!" expressed Amber, also a nurse. "So, the money raised from these bracelets will all help with those costs, as Jimmy's journey continues."
This 6th grade class at North Hopkins has joined Jimmy in his fight!
To date, over 600 bracelets have been ordered and people continue to call, wanting to join the fight!
"I'm going to beat this with the help of God, friends and family!" declares Jimmy. "And, I couldn't have done it without any one of them. God has placed Amber, Laura, Kim, special friends and spiritual leaders, Doug and Gina Snyder, and all those from Shannon Oaks Church, in my life, to make a difference, through prayer, hope, and learning to trust in Him!"
"I guess the best way I can fathom the great response on the facebook page is what I've heard about as a kid of an old-fashioned 'tent revival,' that we heard our parents and grandparents talk about," expressed Jimmy. "Folks come onto the page daily to offer testimony, faith, encouragement, and share their faith with me and my family, as we walk together in this journey! I've learned that we don't walk through this world alone, and there are so, so many good people in this greater Hopkins County Community, when you need them!"
"Yes, I think we all take what a great community we live in for granted, until something like this comes along and reminds us," inserted Jennifer Lucas. "There's just something special about Hopkins County. I wasn't reared here and I know that in my hometown, something like this wouldn't have happened. Hopkins County has the people with the biggest hearts of anywhere I know and they surround you with love and support, when you need it the most!"
Meanwhile, Jimmy is awaiting surgery and continues to need everyone's support, prayers, and inspiration! Please join his Facebook page, "Jimmy Lucas: Together We Got This!" and offer your own encouragement and support. And, lend your support by purchasing a bracelet to show that support even more!
"I'm going to beat this and hope that once I do, that we can have this website to offer to others who need the very same support that I'm receiving now!" expressed Jimmy. "It's a way to lend a hand to someone else and I know first-hand just how important it is when you're fighting for your life!"
Saturday was a very, very special day for Jimmy, when longtime family friend, former Sulphur Springs Wildcat, and Texas Tech Football Player, Beau Carpenter, sent him a picture of him wearing his bracelet, as he played in Saturday's Tech game. "It was great to sit and watch Beau play on national television and to know that he cared enough to embrace my illness and join me in this fight!" expressed Jimmy. "Again, that just shows what kind of people we have here in Hopkins County, that have a special place in their hearts for helping their fellow man!"
Bracelets can be purchased by calling or texting Amber Thomas at (903)348-4765, and then can be picked up at Stew Site #100, at the Hopkins County Stew Contest. "We'll be easy to spot!" expressed Amber. "As, the symbol for fighting colon cancer is to wear a pair of boxer shorts on the outside of your jeans or sweats, so we should 'standout' for sure!"
"We Got This!"