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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
March 11, 1994     The Message
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March 11, 1994

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I Ill, 1994 . The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 ugh a mother's eyes i i ii I I Unfried looks at her son Troy's drive to beat leukemia HUGHES staff writer n Karen Unfried talks Troy, she talks She says he al- it, even as a young ng Sports for Holy as a soccer at Memorial High eves his drive is him through brush with and now it will pro- college. to believe ago, her son could of his hospital at St. Jude's in Mem- diagno- leukemia rapy, transplant and life. s illness is in re- a student at California and a school's soccer raother, Karen, his struggles and its treat- about a son Oped courage She attrib- endurance to sports. he con- towards the et for himself be- ill and he "al- his illness warning. Swollen lymph by a fever and then another swollen lymph gland. He was a freshman member of the soccer team at Western Kentucky University and when he told his trainer, he was immediately sent to the school doctor. The doctor did some blood work, and that same night, Troy was admitted to St. Jude's Hospital. Once there, he was diag- nosed with leukemia and began undergoing chemother- apy and then a bone marrow transplant. His weight plum- meted from 156 pounds down to 118 pounds and he was re- stricted to his hospital room for eight straight weeks. But while his body was los- ing strength, his spirit was gaining some. He put ski posters all over the white walls of his hospital room and told everyone who entered that he would be ski- ing soon. "He knew he wanted to play soccer again, and so he ac- cepted whatever the physical therapist told him to do. No matter how bad he felt, he would get up on his hands and legs on the bed and do his exer- cises." Letters from home and visits from family and friends also helped bolster his spirits. When four of his friends in Evansville learned about his chemotherapy treatments, they went to a barbershop and had their heads shaved in a show of solidarity. During his hospital stay, he received over 800 cards and letters. "The most exciting moment every day was at 11 a.m. when I ] July 21 -- A= aiffare from at Escorted by professional tour director Comprehensive sightseeing throughout * All hotel service charges and local taxes .00 -- One Of those places that dominates the world Only the home of Pope John Paul II whom it is also one of the great cities of the visit churches and walk in the catacombs gathered to pray and worship God. We Chapel and the magnificent artistry of We'll also visit Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, 3, Verona, Stresa, Pisa, and Florence. Come s sure to be a wonderful adventure. Sincerely, Father Joseph Zlllak I would like to know more about your tour. Please send me addi- tional information. Name Illak , IN 47630 Address City State/ZIP "Let's not ask, 'why did this happen to you' but let's ask, 'what do we have to do to get you well. '" Karen Unfried went to the mail room," Karen said. "We had a lot of support and prayers from our friends and family and that helped us get through it. A lot of people told me they were praying for Troy in their prayer groups." The support helped during the rough moments. "It's hard for a teenager to lose all his hair and it's hard to see all your friends going out. But he stood it really well." He was sustained by his mother's strength and her un- willingness to give up. She told him: "Let's not ask, 'why did this happen to you' but let's ask, 'what do we have to do to get you well." Over the winter months, she watched as Troy "first started walking, then jogging and then running." Finally, in June he was strong enough to travel to Lake Tahoe to visit family members. He wanted to ski. "That day, on June 6, it snowed all day. It was just like God let it snow. There was a whole blizzard in June." He spent last summer in Col- orado, training on a mountain bike, building up his leg mus- cles for soccer. Then in August, he headed to Western Ken- tucky to begin, again, as a stu- dent and a member of the soc- cer team. But when he arrived, he brought a new outlook on life with him. He began to realize that Western Kentucky wasn't for him any more, so he made plans to transfer to Chico State, a school with a soccer program he had followed throughout high school. In a letter to school officials at Western Kentucky, Troy wrote: "After experiencing the battle of my life, ! realized how TROY UNFRIED precious life is and that we only go around one time. Con- sequently, I arrived at the de- cision to go after all of my hopes and dreams without any remorse. It is my hope and dream to attend Chico State and play soccer for them." After Christmas, he headed for California to began classes at Chico State. While he is unsure about what direction his studies will take him, Karen says he is hoping "to give back to others what has been given to him." She adds, "What I want for him are his health, his happi- ness and also for him to be able to give back." He already has the drive. Following is a new feature in the Message, designed to help draw together the People of God in southwestern Indi- ana. Readers are invited to submit information about people who may benefit by some extra prayers and attention. Prayers, notes, cards and letters are requested for Rita Farny, a teacher at Holy Rosary School, Evansville. Rita was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and has been on medical leave this school year, according to her sister, Betsy Bender, a teacher at Resurrection School, Evansville. Rita has been a teacher at Holy Rosary since 1979. She began her teaching career at St. Philip School in 1966 and taught at Nativity School, Evansville, from 1967 to 1970. She also taught at St. Boniface School, Evansville, from 1970 to 1979. In 1993, she was named the diocesan Teacher of the Year, along with Katie Schwenk of Corpus Christi School, Evansville, and Benedictine Sister Mary Francis Williams of Mater Dei High School, Evansville. Bender said many people throughout the diocese are "concerned about Rita, but they don't know what to do. I feel like she really needs a boost right now and I think this extra attention will do it for her." Rita Farny's address is 519 N. 11th Avenue, Evansville IN 47712. Please send information for PEOPLE WE CARE ABOUT to Mary Ann Hughes, The Message, P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN47724. I I I J iiiiii iiiii DUBOIS COUNTY BANK ]13mBt OZD NA  MeOw FDC uJ a,m YOUR FIVE STAR SERVICE BANK I I I We're Here ! .Seingall families.with ty ancl:, persoiaal attention foover one-half century,,; Wade FUneral Home -- 119 S. Vine Street, Haubstadt, IN ' :" :"  768-6151 "'" :', " -", Call about pre-need counse.ling.i "" " Robert J. Wade . ;..__,- .......... 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