EDITOR'S NOTE: The annual Village Walk for Cancer Research will be held at the Balboa Pavilion in Hot Springs Village on Sept. 25. The following article recounts Jeanne Larsen's cancer journey.
HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE -- Jeanne Larsen, an artist who enjoys painting gourds, found out she had cancer after moving to Hot Springs Village from Republic, Mo.
"Being told you have cancer is a frightening thing," Larsen said, but she wasn't about to let cancer beat her and decided to get involved in the Village Walk for Cancer Research, "start each day with a positive attitude and to become her own advocate," a news release said.
Larsen was diagnosed with B-cell non-Hodgkin's follicular lymphoma, Grade 3A, CD20 positive, and said she feels lucky that if she was going to have cancer, "this was the best one to have."
Larsen wrote a book about her experience, "Living with Lymphoma, a Personal Journey," which is available on Amazon or at the Village Walk for Cancer Research for a $5 donation. Her book is a survival manual injected with humor and an "Ouch Meter," a quick, fun, and informative read, the release said.
Larsen was a high school English teacher for 38 years and has always enjoyed telling stories and writing. "Jeanne didn't learn how to carve wood until she met Dan, her life partner, who is also a skilled woodworker and hobbyist. Jeanne loved making things out of wood but had to give wood carving due to arthritis. But much to her amazement, she found carving gourds just as satisfying and has made some of the most beautiful vases, lamps, and bowls you can imagine. She loves to create artwork and uses the time she is working to think and to be thankful," the release said.
"If you are a friend of Jeanne's, you probably have received one of her painted gourds as a gift! This year Jeanne donated three beautiful gourds to the Village Walk for Cancer Research Silent Auction. Maybe you will be the lucky bidder this year!"
The Village Walk for Cancer Research will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Balboa Pavilion.
"There is still time to register and donate money to help us reach our goal of $50,000 for cancer research. We have a fun day planned with food, a bake sale, and Silent Auction," the release said.
For more information, visit http://www.walkforcancerresearch.org.