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published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Touching lives, leading by example
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- Every month, the News-Sun honors an 'Unsung Hero' -- individuals who work quietly behind the scenes to solve problems, provide needed services or enhance the community.
Because October is breast cancer awareness month, we choose retired Avon Park High School history teacher Jean Lund as our Unsung Hero.
Lund has survived two bouts of breast cancer and gone on to become a champion for fellow patients and survivors, as well as their families.
Cathy Albritton, marketing director for Florida Hospital Heartland Division said, "I have known Jean for a very long time. As a teacher she helped shape the lives of our youth, as a community leader and volunteer she helps people in need. Jean makes our community a better place to live."
Lund's character showed Monday, when on short notice and with car problems, she stopped by the News-Sun to talk about her experience with cancer and give advice to patients and their families.
She did this as a public service. She had no idea she was being honored.
Lund's first encounter with breast cancer was 31 years ago. Getting results of tests took a long time, and there were few options for treatment.
The diagnosis, "caught me off guard. I was scared to death and didn't know what to think," Lund said.
Her second bout with the disease came a year and a half ago. She finished radiation in April of 2013 and is well and active.
The second time around, knowing what to expect and with the advances in technology and medicine, Lund was not as overwhelmed as she had been the first time.
On the other hand, having had cancer before, she was all too aware of the dangers she faced.
Lund said she relied heavily on scriptures, and God kept sending her comforting messages -- although once she turned to James 1:2-4 which told her, "to find joy in my trials, and I thought, 'Are you kidding me Lord? Find joy in my trials?'"
Paradoxically, she added, the passage taught her a great lesson. "Finding joy produces endurance; endurance produces faith; and faith brings strength," she said.
The most important thing to do when facing cancer, Lund said, "is to keep a positive attitude and surround yourself with positive people.
"Before making decisions, bring someone with you to doctor appointments. It's too easy to misunderstand, or leave important questions unasked. "It's overwhelming," Lund said, "so it's important to have a good caregiver." She added she was blessed with her husband Tom, and her son Chad.
Chose a doctor you can work with as a team, she said.
"Don't get too busy to take care of yourself. Nothing should stand between yourself and your treatments and follow-up visits."
In addition to being an uplifting example, Lund has spent her life working to raise funds for cancer research and patient support -- for example, serving as a team captain and area organizer for the Avon Park Relay for Life and as a member on the Florida Hospital Foundation board.
Lund hopes more people participate in fundraisers over the winter and attend their local Relay event in the spring, but, "Don't do it because you are asked," said Lund, "do it for a purpose -- so more people can celebrate birthdays."
She urges friends to form teams now and plan a fundraising campaign. "Make it fun," she said, "not a chore. You'll laugh and you'll cry and raise money that will save someone's life. What a wonderful way to spend time. It touches your heart."
In her turn Lund touches hearts.
"She leads by example and encourages others to do the same. She never asks anyone to do anything that she herself couldn't or wouldn't do. She is a woman of noble character and she speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction," said Jamie Bateman, who works with her at the Foundation. "(Jean)," she added, "has touched the lives of so many in our community that one could lose count."
Albritton said it this way, "We need more Jean Lunds in this world."
Which is why the News-Sun positively honors Lund as the Unsung Hero for October, 2013.
Good Selection (by: Guest - 10/31/2013)
Newssun, Very nice selection of Ms. Lund and a good article.
(by: Blindman~ - 10/30/2013)
I'm sure Mrs. Lund's husband & son could attest to the fact that when this happens, it affects the whole family. A good patients advocate is like having an inspirational coach in your corner carefully watching each round of the fight, assisting with strategy whilst assuring you to victory. And we have a winner!
Touching lives, leading by example (by: Richard Peavy - 10/30/2013)
"Don't do it because you are asked," said Lund, "do it for a purpose -- so more people can celebrate birthdays."
Hero (by: Wally Randall - 10/30/2013)
There are many many words to describe Jean, all good. Hero fits! She gives and gives to our community. She's a great person, a wonderful lady, an a smooth dancer. God bless Jean Lund.
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