Former police chief talks about battle with cancer

Several Relay For Life events took place across the region Friday night, with Perry County's going on Saturday.

One person who hopes to be at the one in Perry County is Rod Maggard.

The former Hazard police chief and director of the Rural Law Enforcement Center continues to fight a brave battle with colorectal cancer.

Maggard served in Vietnam and more than 40 years in the law enforcement field, but his life was changed forever about two years ago.

"I've had 180 chemo treatments, six surgeries and 38 radiation treatments since March 31st 2010." Maggard said.

Despite all that, he still has a positive outlook.

"It's really not bothered me much. It's really harder on the family than it is on the patient themselves because they suffer daily." Maggard said.

Maggard has been a regular at the ARH Cancer Center in Hazard, but gives his doctors and the staff credit for helping extend his life.

"They love you, I really truly believe they love you and they want to do something to help you and they'll go out of their way to help you." Maggard said.

Maggard says his family, his faith and many people praying has helped him get through the darkest days, like a recent bout with pneumonia.

"I can walk in the Cancer Center the Monday mornings that I have to have treatment and I can pick out the Christians from the non-Christians because the Christians are smiling and talking and trying to witness and the non-Christians are doom and gloom and have just given up." Maggard said.

Maggard says going through something like this makes you appreciate the small blessings many of us take for granted.

"When you get put down on your back and you're looking up and you say boy I'd like to cut the grass today or I'd like to go to Tennessee today, but when you get to the point where you can't, you think boy was I ever blessed." Maggard said.

Maggard hopes everyone will support the Relay For Life events, because just one dollar donated to the American Cancer Society could help find a cure.

"I don't know how much money they'll raise this year but somebody's life will be saved because of that. It may not be mine, but then again it could be next year." Maggard said.

Maggard also urges everyone over the age of 50 to get a colonoscopy.

There were Relay For Life events Friday night in Clay County, Floyd County and Corbin.

Perry County's starts Saturday at Noon at the Perry County Park.

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