Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, Aug. 14 newspaper on Page A1.
JACKSON — Lighting the torch for this year’s 2019 Relay For Life of Jackson County was 78-year-old Judith Mahoney, of Jackson.
Mahoney, who is a cancer survivor, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. Her story is one that reinforces the importance of “early detection” and yearly mammograms.
“Basically, I was having my regular check-up, as you do,” recalled Mahoney. “It was detected, and it was like a pea in a pod, just very small.”
Mahoney told The Courier that she had surgery on July 13, 2004, then underwent radiation and oral chemotherapy. She reported that she goes back to the doctor every year to be checked, and so far she hasn’t had any problems.
When she was first diagnosed, she was afraid.
Her main concern, though, was how to tell her son, Matt.
The doctor told her that she should tell him how important it was that she was having her scheduled mammograms and it was a good thing, too, because early detection plays a significant function in the treatment and curing of cancer.
This year, Mahoney lit the torch, better known as the “Flame of Hope.” Each year a survivor or some battling cancer is chosen to light the torch which symbolizes just what it says, hope to beat the deadly disease called in all of its forms.
The Courier asked Mahoney how it felt to be chosen to lit the torch, and she said, “I was surprised that they asked me, but I am very happy that they did.”
Mahoney said that she became involved with Relay For Life after her experience battling cancer. She stated that she was a part of the Charlie’s Angels Relay Group, which was one of the original teams.
Mahoney is the daughter of Dick and Jessie McGoon. She was born and raised in Jackson.
She attended Jackson High School, graduating in 1958. Her favorite accomplishment was that she was head drum majorette her junior and senior year.
After graduation, Mahoney enlisted in the military and served four years as a U. S. Navy WAVE. Duty stations included Washington D.C. and Wahiawa, Hawaii, and then there were the years of civil service employment with the Navy Department in the Panamna Canal Zone and Norfolk, Va.
Returning to Jackson in 1974, Mahoney was employed at the Atomic Plant in Piketon, and retired 23 and half years later in the position of supervisor of the Purchasing Department.
Mahoney has a son, Matt Mahoney, and grandson, Aaron Mahoney. Aaron, according to Mahoney, is a senior member of the Jackson Ironman Football Team this year.