Husband and wife LeRoy and Twyla Mitchell are the Honorary Relay for Life Co-Chairs in Chisago County this year. Twyla Mitchell experienced breast cancer in 2002 and LeRoy Mitchell experienced throat cancer in 2007. Twyla Mitchell had no family history of the disease and went through the typical surgeries and therapies with positive results. She was given support from her family, friends, work and church and said she feels that is what gave her strength to fight the disease. LeRoy Mitchell said he basically had never been sick a day of his life but on a Fourth of July vacation, he just was not feeling well, went into the emergency room and was found to have Stage IV tonsil cancer. After six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, huge weight loss, some hearing loss, throat constrictions and no saliva, he said he feels wonderful now and is amazed what he learned during his cancer journey.
“The experience changed my life, and I relearned to really live, appreciate my energy, my faith, friends and church,” LeRoy Mitchell said.
Twyla Mitchell said she felt it was much harder to be her husband’s caretaker than fighting the disease itself. Both advise everyone to be very aware of changes in their bodies, advocate with the health systems if you think something is different and ask lots of questions until you understand what the medical plan is for yourself.
This year the American Cancer Society celebrates 100 years of saved lives, just like LeRoy and Twyla Mitchell’s. Join the celebration, experience the fun and support the teams in their fundraising by coming out to eat 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 19, at the Almelund Threshing Grounds on Highway 95 east of Almelund.
For motorists coming from North Branch: The road is open, but there is a detour from Taylor’s Falls.
Those who cannot attend but would still like to donate to the event can do so at www.relayforlife.org/chisagomn.