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If a cancer diagnosis has taught Norman Todd and his wife Ladonna one thing, it’s that life goes on and you might as well live it to the fullest. In 2015, shortly before Ladonna had the upper-left lobe of her lung removed due to cancer, Norman was diagnosed with rectal cancer. More than 45 treatments later, he’s feeling good—and more appreciative than ever of everyday life. The couple spends about half their time at the Evening Star Campground near Topeka, Illinois, and Norman says he’s enjoying their time together there even more these days.

He’s also hoping to play a role in helping future patients discover that same quality of life by taking part in a Foundation-funded clinical trial. Participants are testing a chemotherapy drug that may eliminate the need for radiation prior to surgery—which could help reduce side effects and get patients into the operating room faster. “I appreciate all that the people who went before me did to help develop new treatments, and I want to do what I can to help someone else in the future.”

Norman Todd May 8, 2017

Asked which is tougher, war or cancer, U.S. Navy veteran Millard Diseker doesn’t hesitate. “Cancer is bad, but war is worse. This is a different kind of fight.”

It’s a battle he’s been waging for some time now. Diagnosed with prostate and colon cancer eight years ago, Millard underwent treatment and spent seven years cancer-free. But the disease returned, and now he’s in the midst of a two-year chemotherapy program. Despite side effects like fatigue, insomnia, mood swings and hot flashes, Millard remains positive about his treatment— a new drug combination that’s part of a Foundation-funded clinical trial aimingto increase prostate cancer survival rates—and his future.

Cancer took Millard’s first wife, Paula, three years ago, but he’s been fortunate to find love again with his fiancée, Carol, and the two hope to get married in the spring. He credits the team at Illinois CancerCare for standing shoulder to shoulder with him throughout his fight. “They’re fabulous people. From the lab, to the pharmacy, to the treatment pod, everyone here is so kind-hearted. They always have your six.”

Since 1979, nearly 10,000 cancer patients have participated in more than 1,400 clinical trials through Illinois CancerCare, many funded in part by your contributions to the Foundation. Unlike bench research, which is conducted in a lab with test tubes and animals, clinical trials are applied research using human subjects—essential in advancing cutting-edge care and offered comfortably close to home.

Millard Diseker May 8, 2017

Events

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Nov 3 @ 8:00 am
8:00 am
The Theresa Tracy Trot is a 4 mile run or 2 mile walk along the East Peoria Riverfront and Levee District. It is held in honor of Theresa (Naramore) Tracy, a young wife and mother[...]
East Peoria Riverfront Park
Nov 4 @ 11:00 am
11:00 am
Doors open at 11:00 a.m. Live Auction starts at 1:00 p.m. This champagne brunch features new and gently used handbags, totes, wallets, coin purses, etc. that will be available by live and silent auction during[...]
Burroughs Farm
Nov 9 @ 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
6:00 pm
 
Par-A-Dice Hotel
12:00 am
Join the Central Illinois Parrot Head Club for an all day event touring both sides of the Illinois River in the Peoria area and stopping at beach themed bars along the way!  The event concludes[...]
Riverfront