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Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2015

Finding a new route in life ...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

(Photo)
One man's story of determination

Sometimes, when traveling along life's path, we meet road blocks.

So, what do you do?

Many of us sit and sulk, while growing angry and bitter. We ask, "Why me? Why did I get in this mess?" as we wait for someone else to come along and clear the way.

Not Jimmy Lafarlette. Instead of sitting and angrily waiting for the road to clear, he chooses to back up and find a new route.

(Photo)
Photo/Ninemire You can see Larfarlette's sense of humor as you cross through this unique entrance.
In 2004, just months after having open heart surgery, Lafarlette developed throat cancer.

After three rounds of chemotherapy, his body was free of the cancerous cells.

About a year ago, the familiar feeling returned. His throat and voice became scratchy. Lafarlette and his wife Nancy went to three different doctors before they were told the cancer had returned. And because the prior doctors had not detected the disease, it had progressed.

"We had already been to two doctors, and by the time the third (doctor) found the cancerous cells, it was bad," said Nancy Lafarlette.

Lafarlette went through surgery and three more rounds of chemo.

Today he is cancer free -- but it is at the cost of his voice. For six months Lafarlette has not been able to speak.

Despite this, Lafarlette is amazingly optimistic. "You find a lot of hidden talent after you have a health problem," he wrote. "You have to get your mind straight again so I started doing things and (being active in) church to keep my mind straight. I'm crazy enough, I don't need to lose what I've got left."

Clearly, Lafarlette has also maintained quite a sense of humor about his situation. "I never realized how bad my spelling was until I lost my voice ... but I know my wife has enjoyed the last six months," he wrote.

Lafarlette's wife said one of his pet projects has been the construction of the gate that is erected at the front of their property in Camp.

The gate is a hodgepodge of various tools that Lafarlette used at one time. Originally from Truman, Lafarlette hung a sign emblazoned with the phrase "flatlanderz" for guests to see as they enter through the gate. On the opposite side, as you leave his property, the sign declares, "Git -- R -- Done."

"It was designed by a flat-lander, so I'm letting people know it," Lafarlette wrote while laughing.

Staying optimistic and light-hearted has paid off for Lafarlette. May 30 he and his wife will to travel to Houston to have a brand-new, hands free voice box implanted.

This new voice box is just one example of continued research and improving technology. It is made possible through the money raised for cancer research in events like Relay for Life. Such volunteer efforts will give Lafarletter the opportunity to speak again and share his infectious attitude with others.

"I'm excited," Lafarlette wrote. "I'm getting me an Elvis box."



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