|Mother of 3 brings
much motivation to Relay for Life
By JANET McGREGOR
are people we encounter as we go through life who
make our day a little brighter.
Petty is one who evokes a smile and seems to
bring a little sunshine into a room when she
cheerful attitude is surprising to some when they
discover her recent life story. In January 1997,
the mother of three discovered that her youngest
son, Clint, had a brain tumor. Surgery to remove
the tumor was successful, although Clint lost the
sight in one eye.
years ago, Petty was diagnosed with cancer and
had one of her kidneys removed. Her middle son,
Josh, has Tourette syndrome. In 1999 her mother
was diagnosed with lung cancer. Also last year,
her father had six heart bypasses.
when Petty talks about what some would consider
overwhelming problems, the focus is on her
friends, how good they have been to her, how
lucky she was to catch her cancer when she did,
and she talks about the future.
the immediate future, Petty is spearheading the
involvement of her company, Gold's Gyms of
Fayette County, in the upcoming American Cancer
Society Relay for Life, a fund-raiser for the
Linda Famularo, fitness director for the gym,
says of Petty, I think the world of her.
She is a remarkable person, she is extremely
friendly and always has a smile for you. Most
would never know that she had gone through so
manager Selina Gaspard said, Lori is a very
generous, loving person. She's a good
discovered her cancer accidentally. She had been
dieting and had lost close to 50 pounds. She
said, I had back aches and was not feeling
good, but I just thought it was a combination of
the dieting and another fairly minor physical
problem I was having.
was undergoing medical testing for her other
problem when a tumor was discovered. She said,
I wasn't expecting anything. I went to the
clinic alone. I remember driving home wondering
how I was going to tell my children.
feels she was very lucky. She said, If I
had waited one more month it would have been too
has a lot of support from her husband, Mark,
friends, neighbors and what she calls her
Gold's Gym family. When she was
diagnosed with cancer, she said, within 15
minutes of making a call to tell someone at the
gym that I had cancer, five people were knocking
on my door. Each of the staff members and Varner
Holmes, co-owner of the gym, independently chose
to come be there for me.
her operation, gym members brought meals to her
house for 60 straight days. She received over 200
cards from gym members and staff that I
still have, she noted.
you think your friends can't get any nicer, they
get nicer, she continued.
the family had another scare. Petty's sister had
a tumor that they initially thought might be
cancerous. Fortunately, the tumor was benign,
although it was very large.
who is the operations manager at Gold's Gym, has
been brainstorming with others to come up with
unique ways to raise money for the Relay for
Life. She also is serving as the firm's
cheerleader in rousing members and
staff to sign up to participate in the overnight
personal encounters with cancer are spurring her
desire to work hard in raising money for the
Cancer Society. She seems to be churning with
ideas to support the group through the Relay for
Relay for Life will run from 8 p.m. Friday, May
12 until noon Saturday, May 13. Teams camp out,
eat together and have fun while at least one
member of each team walks on the track throughout
the all-night event.
fund-raiser will be at Sandy Creek High School in
opening lap of the relay is reserved for cancer
survivors. After the first lap, other team
members join in taking their turns around the
are treated to music and entertainment throughout
the event. Prizes are given away and numerous fun
contests are conducted. Saturday morning, Gold's
Gym will get things moving with a work-out
session designed for every fitness
level, says Petty. Petty and owner J.D.
Holmes will be giving away memberships, tee
shirts, free classes and other gifts as part of
noted, Cancer has touched just about
everyone in some way whether it's
personally, like Lori, a close family member or
friend. We will do everything we can to help in
the fight against this disease.
members are asked to raise a minimum of $100
each, with an overall team goal of $2,500 to
$3,000. According to Norma Johnson, relay
coordinator, Our goal is to raise $65,000
from the relay. We currently have 22 teams and
expect to sign up a few more during the next
sponsors are supporting the relay. MCI, Powertel,
Gold's Gym and others are currently sponsoring
the upcoming event. Many other local businesses
provide gifts, prizes, entertainment, food and
at 10 p.m. there is a luminary
ceremony. Luminaries are purchased for $10
each, or three for $25, in honor of someone who
survived cancer, or in memory of someone who did
not. Luminaries are lighted candles inside a
weighted bag. As the luminaries are lighted, the
names on the bags are read.
information regarding the Relay for Life, phone
Norma Johnson at 770-969-9073 or 770-460-8920.
Donations may be mailed to: American Cancer
Society, Relay for Life, Attn: Norma Johnson,
Chairman, P.O. Box 965, Fairburn, Ga. 30213.