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Rhonda Brock's special day, special cause

From Staff Reports

Henry County Schools employees gathered in the auditorium of the district's central office, Tuesday, to celebrate the birthday of long-time employee, Rhonda Brock.

Brock is an administrative assistant in leadership services at the central office. A 15-year employee with the school district, she also celebrated being in remission from her second bout with cancer.

Brock's birthday, last year, was spent in the hospital fighting multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow. She had entered the final rounds of her first bout with cancer in 2010, when doctors discovered, during a routine check-up, that a different type of cancer was present.

"I was in for a check-up for the ovarian cancer ... , and the doctors discovered what turned out to be multiple myeloma," said Brock, who entered remission after rounds of aggressive treatment to fight the cancer.

"It has been an emotional, overwhelming day," she continued. "This year has been filled with ups and downs, but having family and friends to love, support, and care for me, have made it bearable. My birthday has been extra special, thanks to my co-workers."

Henry County Schools Communications Specialist J.D. Hardin pointed out that, in honor of Brock's birthday and the fight against cancer, employees at the central office donned burgundy attire. Burgundy, he said, is the color designated in support of multiple myeloma awareness.

There will be approximately 20,520 new diagnoses of multiple myeloma in 2011, said Hardin, quoting the American Cancer Society.

The disease is a subject that also prompted employee, Renita Williams, to share her advocacy of awareness about multiple myeloma, which has affected her family.

Williams said she lost her uncle to the disease earlier this year and wants people to be more cognizant of things that may not seem right with their bodies, and persist longer than normal aches and pains.

"We must take time to take care of ourselves," said Williams. "Each day is a blessing, never neglect that not being aware of changes with your body."