A little over a year ago, Apex author Heather McCollum went to her doctor after sustaining a minor injury while playing soccer.
That injury quickly became the least of her worries.
Tests revealed a tumor and the 41-year-old was suddenly facing a battle for her life against ovarian cancer.
McCollum recently underwent her final chemotherapy treatment and her prognosis is good. But she, along with friends and family, remain devoted in the fight against cancer.
For the second year in a row, McCollum will have a team of supporters participating in the Gail Parkins Memorial Ovarian Cancer Walk and 5K Run in Raleigh.
As way of raising money for the event, Carolina Hurricanes player Anthony Stewart will sign autographs for $5 apiece Thursday, Sept. 6 from 6-8 p.m. at Dream Sports Center in Apex. All proceeds benefit cancer research.
Family friend Al Sibille said the past year has been difficult on McCollum, her husband Braden and their three children.
Yet, at the same time, the McCollums feel extremely fortunate to have fared so well in this fight.
“It has been a real challenge for them,” said Sibille. “But she (was diagnosed) in the very early stages because of that soccer injury. Now she is really pushing the message to people that they need to get tested early.”
Sibille said McCollum has shown a lot of improvement in recent weeks.
“She had her last chemo in July and all her hair has grown back,” said Sibille. “The cancer is gone right now and hopefully it’s gone for good but you never know.”
Sibille and Braden McCollum have played on the same roller hockey team at Dream Sports for a decade. So, Sibille thought it was very fitting to have a professional hockey player donate his time to help McCollum’s cause.
“I know Anthony Stewart’s agent and I asked him if Anthony would help us in some way,” said Sibille. “Anthony was glad to help and we are certainly thankful. Heather will be there with him when he signs autographs and it should be a great night.”
For more information on the walk visit www.ovarianawareness.org. To donate to McCollum’s team just click on Team List and then click on the team “SHOUT Against the Whisper.”
To learn more about Heather visit www.heathermccollum.com.