Huntsman Cancer Institute throws numerous fundraising events every year. Its annual Huntsman 5k has raised more than $1 million dollars for cancer research. American Name Services has been affected by the awful disease either personally, or through a loved one. We have joined with the Huntsman 5k in an effort to share our stories, participate in the 5k run on June 17th, and donate to a very noble cause. We invite you to do the same. Click here to run with us, #TeamAmericanNames, or donate to support Huntsman Cancer Research.
Below you will find a few of ANS’s stories and the reason why we care:
ANS Mother, DiAnne Shepherd
DiAnne was an expert organizer, driven …, and lover of education. Her never-ending thirst for knowledge helped nurture the entrepreneurial spirits of her nine children. As a mother to 4 of the employees at ANS, she also worked as the financial controller for more than five years at the time she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her fight lasted seven hard months and she passed away October 2004. At ANS we look to her legacy with gratitude for her amazing ability to triumph over trials. ANS was home to all with DiAnne (Mom) here.
ANS Founder, Jill Williams
Jill had a pre-cancerous tumor in situ removed from her breast 5 years ago. The stress surrounding this event was a real challenge for her family having gone through her own mother’s passing from breast cancer a few years prior. Jill firmly believes that you know your body, not a doctor or anyone else. Even with her mom’s history, the decision to have it removed was against her Doctors and Radiologists initial wishes, but she knew it was the right thing to do. Her persistence to have it removed early resulted in a cancer free body. She didn’t have Chemo, but she was on a drug for 5 years aiding in the prevention of future growth, and that drug affected her body physically. It hasn’t been easy.
She may not say that she qualifies as a “survivor” but definitely an early preventer. Empowerment comes in many forms. For many it’s fighting through a post-surgery chemo battle. For some like Jill, it’s knowing when to stand-up for what you believe in and refusing the negativity that surrounds you, even when it comes from experts.
ANS Programmer, Jonna Woodard
Jonna was ANS’s “fix it” woman. If something was broken, Jonna could figure it out, create a solution and fix it. She never was one for the spotlight because she would quietly be thinking of and doing good for others. Even when diagnosed with cancer, she continued working hard and diligently at ANS. She worked with us for nine years, four of which she was battling through the many treatments she was receiving at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Jonna was taken from us just recently, passing away on March 19th of this year. She was not only a close friend, but she was also an aunt to one of us here. We will miss her for her kindness, adventurous spirit, and love for teasing Ritch.
ANS Husband and Brother, Shane Sager
Shane’s life is heroic to us all. A husband and brother-in-law to employees at ANS, he was an example for his extraordinary love for life. Not only did he fight cancer for the last four years of his life, he also fought for others. Shane was diagnosed with angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, and dedicated much of his treatments to research. He underwent many different tests and treatments all with the effort to help improve research for others in the future. Shane sacrificed many days where he could have been with family, being monitored at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Because of his amazing attitude, many had no idea of the trial that he was enduring. ANS looks to Shane for his heroism and strength.