Two community leaders diagnosed with cancer

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By Carol A. Clark

Until now, two community leaders have kept the causes of their illnesses quiet.

But to advocate early diagnosis and spotlight Saturday’s Relay For Life informational event, County Council Vice Chair Mike Wismer and former Councilor Jim West are sharing their personal cancer experiences. 

The men were diagnosed just a few months apart with different types of cancer. Wismer shared their stories during an interview late Tuesday. 

“Jim is in Houston undergoing chemotherapy and blood transfusions for Large Cell Lymphoma,” Wismer said. 

“He gave me full permission to disclose his cancer situation because he wants to help others and hopes to encourage the community to support Relay For Life. I decided to talk about my cancer for the same reasons and to stress the importance of early diagnosis,” he said. 

Last summer a friend noticed an unusual spot on the back of Wismer’s leg where he said he would never have seen it on his own. He saw his doctor about a month later. 

“We’ve got to take this out right now and get it biopsied,” said his doctor’s technician who immediately cut the spot out and sent it to the lab. 

Within five days Wismer was notified he had Melanoma Type One – the most serious type of skin cancer. 

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