Chalyce Howsare, 22, of Meyersdale, bravely told her story of fighting Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma as she served as the guest speaker for Meyersdale's Relay For Life this past weekend.
"Just a little over a year ago I was looking forward to my 21st birthday and college graduation party," said Howsare during her Friday evening speech. "I had just received my college degree from Allegany College of Maryland and was featured on a roadside billboard advertisement for the college."
The excitement of starting a new chapter in her life quickly turned when she found a lump on the left side of her neck. June 26 was the start of all the blood work, scans, testing and tears.
On Aug. 14, she was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
"The very first time I met with my oncologist, Dr. Idrees, he looked me straight in my eyes and promised he would cure me. From that point, I was completely comfortable and confident that everything would be okay," remembered Howsare.
Word travels fast in a small town and in this case, Howsare couldn't have been more pleased she was from the community of Meyersdale.
"Although some people don't like small towns, I am forever proud to be part of this small community," she said. "People I didn't know were sending their love, prayers and support. My mail box was overflowing with cards, my Facebook blew up, my cell phone never stopped going off, flowers were delivered on a daily basis, gifts were dropped off, and donations were being made left and right."
The support of family and friends were imperative at this time in Howsare's life. Her parents, Judy and Denny Howsare, were behind her all the way. She had a total of seven chemotherapy treatments and through it all, she kept working at BDH/Konhaus Insurance Agency in Meyersdale.
Her nurses gave her encouragement and hope.
"The nurses at the oncology center told me the first day that before I knew it, we would all be family," said Howsare. "They aren't just nurses, they are angels."