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Sanders keeps a promise


Cancer can't dim her smile



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Virginia 'Gin' Sanders. (click for larger version)
December 14, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Oftentimes it is the people who deal with the most difficult struggles who somehow muster the strength needed to remain optimistic. Rather than wallow in despondency, they persist through tremendous adversity with grace.

Despite enduring the pain of her battle with Stage 4 throat cancer, Sturbridge resident Virginia "Gin" Sanders has managed to maintain a positive outlook on life.

The cancer has permanently altered the course of her life, and although she will never eat anything that requires chewing again, her hope for a bright future is unalterable.

The wife of ex-Boston Celtics star Tom "Satch" Sanders, Gin was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer five and a half years ago. Several radiation treatments and other medical interventions helped her survive the affliction, but she still experiences painful side effects, including facial and jaw pain.

"I had to learn how to swallow differently, because I can no longer eat anything that requires me to chew," Sanders said.

Sanders' hopefulness can be traced back to her grueling double-radiation sessions in 2005, an abject time when many people would have seen nothing but negativity. But instead of allowing her physical condition rule her life, Sanders made three promises to herself that would fuel her positive disposition for years to come.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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