Friday, May 28, 2010

Cooksey: "I am now cancer free"

County commissioner Neil Cooksey on Thursday said he is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment after being diagnosed earlier this year with a malignant tumor in his pancreas. Cooksey, 48, made the comments before a public hearing on next year's county budget.

Cooksey, an attorney, was elected in 2008 to represent district 5 on the board. He faces no competition in his re-election bid this year.

Here are his prepared remarks from Thursday:

"As my colleague Commissioner (Vilma) Leake is fond of saying, I would like to address an issue tonight that I think the public should know about.

After suffering from undiagnosed back pain and stomach issues for about a year, in February of this year I was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in my pancreas. I underwent extensive surgery to remove my gallbladder and portions of my pancreas and lower intestine. My surgeon has assured me that he is confident that the cancerous tissue has been removed.

As far as I am concerned, I am now cancer free and I am undergoing chemo and radiation treatment to keep it that way. I would like to publicly thank the physicians and staff at Carolinas Medical Center, Mecklenburg Medical Group and Southeast Radiation for the tremendous care and encouragement that I have received from them. I intent to make the most of this second chance at life.

Some time ago I participated in an extensive Bible survey at my church taught by an Associate Pastor whose catch phrase was "grace abounds." At the time I took it as a cheap and easy way to get out of doing my assigned reading. But as a cancer survivor, Reverend Cobb knew that this phrase has a deeper meaning that I am only now just beginning to understand.

Scripture tells us that His mercies are new each day. This has been demonstrated manifold in the tremendous outpouring of affection and support for me and my family. We have seen it in the countless food offerings delivered by our church family and other friends. We've been overwhelmed by well wishes from friends and acquaintances, both old and new. I have been heartened by the stories of survival and stamina that many of you have shared with me. This challenge has brought me closer to my wife and kids and has been eased by the hands on support given by friends and family that have travelled great distances to help. Yes, grace abounds.

As I continue along this new stage of life's journey, I will do my best to juggle commitments to my family, my day job and this community. I ask for a measure of grace if I do not return your call or email, or if I am unable to attend every event that I would like to. I will continue to represent the interests of the people of Mecklenburg County as best I can -- by being a voice for common sense on this body.

Finally, I want to thank the County Manager, my fellow Commissioners and County staff for their kindness and concern during this time. Your friendship is appreciated.
Let me close by saying that I hope that grace will abound in your life and mine."

Neil Cooksey


CAsurvivor said...

You are not considered cancer-free, until you have completed the course of therapy - to include radiation and chemo. If you want to think that you are cancer-free, go for it! But don't claim it as a truth. If you believe in God, so be it! But don't make it part of your political statement! Remember 'separation of church and state'?

Anonymous said...

That's a rather meanspirited, petty, and self-serving comment CA. We elect people to represent us and Cooksey is a person, not a state - or a talking robot, for that matter. Whether you agree with his views or not, he's being open with who he is, putting it all out there, and, frankly, we need more honest public servants like this in our country. Use your own mind to decide what you agree or disagree with. What you see is what you get.

ThaQueenCity said...

Claim it Neil claim it! I did when I was undergoing treatment and guess what, God and His doctors made it true for me too! JUST like your will for you!

God Bless you and continue on with YOUR belief, faith and hope! We claim if for ya too!

RoyRowe said...

Neil, I want to thank you for your service to the community in District 5 and all that you continue to do to improve the life that we live in Charlotte. I have never seen someone so dedicated to serving his community than you. I believe some of the comments you received about the announcement of your health show the problems we have in our society today. I bet the people who made some of the statements in response to your news article never worried about going to a meeting when they were sick from chemo or radiation treatments. I think the main problem of our society today is because of the separation of church & state, which is what our great country was founded on. I pray for you everyday and I just hope that you continue to enjoy your life “Cancer Free”, for it is people like you who take to time to serve (than complain) & try to make things better for others. Keep up the good work & never lose faith!!

Anonymous said...

CA, you are a complete and utter moron! I agree with the other reader comments, you are "petty and meanspirited"! It's people like you who are destroying our country and tearing it apart with your lack of faith in God! The very core and foundation of our country was based on the belief in God!

You are probably one of those idiots who is in favor of the removal of God from any reference of the constitution yes? How about no God on our currency? Maybe no prayer in school? Do you teach your children the ridiculous theories of "Big Bang" or "Evolution from Apes"?

I am proud to read Mr. Cooksey's statement and am joyful to see his faith in God is not faltering! I KNOW his faith will pull him throuhg this and will sustain him in his most difficult times. There are many of us who are lifting Neil up in prayer, and expecting (no CLAIMING), his healing! I am one of the many! As for you CA, I will pray for your faithless soul and ask our Lord and Savior to come in to your dark heart and release you from the bonds that keep you from knowing our God!

Good day!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear...meanwhile, the entire council both city and county are brain dead.

Anonymous said...

Too bad you're a survivor, CA, 'cause you sure don't deserve to be.

Anonymous said...

CAsurvivor...separation of church and state does not mean that someone cannot express their religious views in their political statements. It means that the government won't interfere with the church (i.e. make laws interfering with religious freedoms).

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Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you're doing much better. Cancer is a terrible disease that has affected many members of my family. Thankfully, the United States has amazing health insurance coverage options available. Getting sick is never good, but you want to make sure you can get treated when you need it.

Amiel Sac said...

"I have been heartened by the stories of survival and stamina that many of you have shared with me"

This line really caught my attention. When you are down, it is always good that others have made it through. It somewhat gives you hope that you have this capability to make it through, too. Hence, it is always good to surround ourselves with people who always strive to achieve something and to arise from failure.