No Shave November: Sarasota couple defeats cancer

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 6:32 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Bruce Winter, of Sarasota, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015.

“It started out as like a catch in my throat... The doctor said let me take a look real quick. He did and he said, well I’ve got bad news for you. You have throat cancer. I mean, that just floored me,” Winter explained.

Bruce began his treatment in April of 2016, and by early September he was finally able to eat hard foods again.

According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year post-diagnosis survival rate is 80% for those diagnosed with laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer.

A few years later in 2019, Bruce’s wife Jeanne Smith went in for her typical check-up.

“My doctor said there is something suspicious here and said let’s go get you a mammogram. From there it snowballed until the point where I was found to have stage two breast cancer,” explained Smith.

After surgery and 20 rounds of radiation, Jeanne was cleared from her breast cancer.

“We’re never really cured of it, no one is ever cured of cancer. We just have no evidence of disease, and someone compared it to there’s always something off in the shadows lurking every time you go for a test every time you go to a doctor, you’re still expecting,” Smith explained.

From their experience of going through cancer and learning how to be there for one another, how to support the other, and how to encourage the other, they now do the same for others in the Suncoast community.

“We try to be there for them because we know how important it is to have support,” Winter stated.

Smith went on to plead, “Please get your tests, go to your doctor, see every time they need something done. Go see your doctor!”

As No Shave November continues you can do your part by donating to the cause.

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