Niagara Gazette — A mother and her 9-year-old-son were named Honorary Survivors at this year's Relay For Life of Lewiston/Niagara fundraiser.
Darla and Michael Bubar of Wilson were recognized at the American Cancer Society event.
For the 17th consecutive year, the Relay For Life raised money in the fight against cancer as it works to spread awareness throughout the community and honor those whose lives have been touched by cancer in some way.
Darla, an English teacher at Niagara-Wheatfield, was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000 after doctors went in to surgically remove what they believed to be a non-cancerous tumor from her throat. During surgery, however, doctors discovered that although Darla's tumor was not cancerous, her thyroid was.
"I was only 29, I was young," said Darla. "My husband and I were just starting out, we had our daughter who was just 4 years old at the time, and I didn't want to believe it was true," she said.
Darla underwent surgery to remove her thyroid and received radiation therapy to destroy the remaining malignant cell in her glands. After successful treatments and followup, Darla was declared in a state of remission and a few years later she gave birth to her son Michael. Within a few months of Michael's birth, Darla's motherly instinct sensed something was not quite right with his health and she brought him in to see a specialist right away.
"I was insistent with doctors, I knew something was off with Michael, and when doctors told us that he had testicular cancer, my husband and I realized our worst fears in that moment," she said. "But they performed radical surgery to remove his testicle, and the next year in 2006 he was declared in full remission and has been ever since."