Tuma is Relay for Life honoree

Marian Tuma (Wade Young Photo)

Marian Tuma, 90, has always had a strong faith in God.

When she was a young girl growing up on the farm five miles west of Montgomery and her father fell ill, he told her to pray. So, she prayed.

When she drove over her husband Milo’s leg pulling 90 bails on the wagon, she prayed.

When Milo had a heart attack in the clinic three years ago, she grabbed her rosary and prayed.

It was natural, then, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 that she prayed.

The cancer survivor is one of the honorees at the Le Sueur County Relay for Life that starts Friday, July 7 in Le Center. The Relay is part of a national program that honors people battling cancer, those who lost that battle and to help the American Cancer fund groundbreaking research, crucial patient care programs, and education and prevention information.

Throughout her life, Tuma said prayer has been so important to her. When doctors found cancerous lumps on both of her breasts 15 years ago, she said she was shocked, but found solace in connecting with God.

“It (cancer) came up all of a sudden, but I didn’t cry or anything,” Tuma recalls. “I was shocked but then I prayed, prayed and prayed. That’s all I did.”

She also had a decision to make how to treat the cancer. With the help of a friend who had received the same diagnosis, and the support of her husband, Tuma chose to have both of her breasts removed.

“It was a choice I made. I could have had the tumors taken, but I did the whole works,” she said.

The decision also meant she didn’t have to take chemotherapy, but an anticancer pill for 10 years. The cancer had been in the early stage and not in the lymph nodes. That, with her surgery and pill has made her a 15- year cancer survivor.

“It is wonderful,” said Tuma. whose father’s parents and seven of his nine siblings all died from the disease. “My sister and I always worried we were going to die from the cancer, but we didn’t, and my dad lived to 95.”

The survivor said she was.....

To see more on this story pick up the July 6, 2017 print edition of the Montgomery Messenger.