Dora woman in midst of cancer fight gives to Mission of Hope

DORA — Christmas was a difficult time for Christy Swan of Dora after she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in December. After she finished her last chemotherapy treatment on June 23, Swan’s husband, Ashley, decided that it was time for a do-over. Ashley Swan invited the couple’s family and friends to a “No Mo Chemo” surprise party at the couple’s home on July 8. As an additional surprise, he asked each guest to bring toys or school supplies that would be donated to Mission of Hope, where Christy Swan and the couple’s children have volunteered in the past. “I thought, ‘What better way to celebrate life than to give to children who get nothing,’” Christy Swan said.

Mission of Hope director Lori Abercrombie, who attends church with the Swans, said she has drawn encouragement from the couple’s generosity. “They choose joy even in a tragic situation, and they choose to continue to love, support and encourage people. The Swans have always been supporters of the Mission of Hope and they have not let this slow them down. They set an example for us that no matter what you’re going through, you can always encourage someone else,” Abercrombie said. Swan, who is now facing five weeks of radiation, first suspected she had a health problem in June after discovering a lump in her breast. After her gynecologist dismissed her concerns, she waited six months before mentioning the lump to her primary care doctor. Tests confirmed that it was cancer. Swan underwent a mastectomy in January and began chemo in February. “It hasn’t been an easy walk, but God has given me strength to continue to go to church and show people that it isn’t a death sentence. I know it’s part of a plan that God has orchestrated for the greater good,” she said.