Submitted by Val:
I’m so blessed to be here and share my story. My husband & I were late bloomers. We got married in 1995 at 36 years old. I was told in 1996 we couldn’t have children without fertility treatments. God blessed us with a pregnancy in April of 1997. All was well until 10/31/97, I had a biopics of my left breast, it turned out to be Stage-3 breast cancer. The first thought I had was not about dying, I was concerned about nursing my baby. So the journey began at Duke University Medical Center. I was passed from one doctor to another, surgeon, high risk OB/GYN, medical oncology, radiation oncology.
I have been a big fan of Alabama since the mid 80’s. My girlfriends and I would travel the east coast and many trips to Fort Payne for the June Jam. I had taken a break for marriage and starting a family. I’m not sure what drew us to Alabama – maybe the harmonizing between Randy, Jeff and Teddy. (Maybe it was Randy’s good looks.. LOL!) You will never meet a bunch of guys so down to earth, so appreciating of their fans. You just don’t find that in today’s country music artists. It was our constant appearance that we met Steve Boland (Randy’s bodyguard). He knew we were no threat to any of the guys, so he would let us back stage. We eventually met Randy’s sister Reba, through her husband Verlon and became known as “Reba’s girls.”
As I prepared for a total mastectomy of the left breast while still pregnant, my friends made sure Alabama and others knew of my circumstances. My friends brought me a very large tee shirt (Angels Among Us) that was one of my favorite songs. That song got me through the mastectomy, an emergency c-section, 4 rounds of chemotherapy, and six weeks of radiation. Everyone I meet and all the doctors who treated me and saved the life of my baby, we’ll they were my “ANGELS. ” My son wasn’t due until January 18, 1998, he had to come early 12/18/97. I had lost all amniotic fluid, he was a breach position. The doctor was worried he might have physical disabilities the way he was trapped, right arm behind his back. I always tell my son, he saved my life. God sent him to me; he’s my angel.