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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Meet Tonia “Toni” Pope Hill….A Breast Cancer Fighter and Survivor

By: Sid Riley

It all started this April when the door to her car accidently slammed against her chest. Toni was sore and bruised for several days, but in a few days the soreness abated and the bruising healed. Everything was back to normal.
About a month later she was taking a shower, and decided to examine her breast. That was when she first felt the lump. Instinctively, she had a bad feeling about the discovery, and decided to have it examined. She hoped it was merely a residual lump from the car door incident, but she was worried.
Toni did not know were to begin. She lives alone and her three daughters were not readily at hand to help her. She opened an area phone book, and the book seemed to lead her to a page with a large advertisement for Women’s Health Clinic in Dothan. She telephoned them and made her first appointment. A biopsy of the lump was taken and analyzed…..and determined to be cancerous!
Initially she underwent four weeks of intensive chemotherapy, but the lump remained unaffected. Then the decision was made to operate. In an aggressive attack on the cancerous area, she underwent surgery including removal of twenty-two lymph nodes. Testing of these revealed no spreading of the cancer.
Next came the radiology treatments under the caring direction of Dr. Patel. Toni is now in remission and is in the middle of an aggressive radiological program. She travels to Dothan each day, five days per week for the treatments. She has had thirty-three and has twenty-two more to go. After that will come careful monitoring and repeated scans until the day arrives when she is told the cancer has been eliminated and she can resume her life on a normal basis.
"When the Doctor first told me I had cancer I was just numb", Toni explained, "It took several minutes for my mind to comprehend what it all meant. I began to turn inward, relying on my deep faith in God to help me through this terrible problem…….and he has! Her family and friends have all been generous in their love and support, and that has made the battle much easier.
"I have relied on Isaiah Chapter 53 Verse 5 as my guiding motto: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed," Toni exclaims.
Another aspect of this event that seems to have been guided by God’s intervention is the fact that about six months before the accident, Toni became interested in the work of the Buffalo Soldiers of Marianna. She became aware of the good works they were performing in her neighborhood and for the children of the area. She joined the group and became a "soldier" in their work. Now, that group has come to her rescue in her time of need.
They are holding a "Love Benefit" for Toni Hill on Friday, October 17 at 6:00PM at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church located at 2871 Orange Street in Marianna. They are asking all soloists, choirs, and gospel groups to bring their God given talents and help in this benefit for Toni. She has incurred tremendous medical costs, has no insurance, and needs our help.
God bless you Toni, we wish you great success.

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