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Pace with Cancer Support Group Founder and stepfather Jim Martin

Cancer knows no age

By Michael Butler

The line that, "Cancer does not discriminate," really hit home for Tamara Pace. She was just 23-years-old when she was diagnosed with Stage III Ovarian Cancer.

"When you talk about cancer you think about dying," Pace said. "I put God first in this situation. I said I can't give up."

Pace said she ignored the warning signs initially. "My stomach swole up like I was nine months pregnant," she noted. "I went to the doctor and got the news. I was in disbelief."

Cancer has been prevalent in Pace's family. Her father died from the disease, as did her grandmother and a cousin.

"My pastor prayed with me everyday. I got a relationship with God," she said. "When I started taking my treatments, instantly my tumor started shrinking. It went from 80 percent to 60 percent in a month, from 60 percent to 50 and 40. Now it's down to 12 percent and my doctor's not even worried about my cancer coming back."

Pace has been taking natural herbs in addition to chemotherapy, but she believes the healing has been divine intervention. "It's a miracle. I'm blessed to even be here."

The prognosis has put a new perspective on her life.

"Sometimes God takes you through situations just to get you closer to him," she said. "I believe that's what happened to me."

It has pushed Pace to chase her dream of being a model. "This is something I love and put passion into. I do fashion shows and love it."

Jim Martin is Pace's stepfather, who has started a cancer support group in Tallassee. "An alarming rate of children are getting cancer. Tamara was a big inspiration for me starting this group. From the very onset of her having cancer, I felt there needed to be a support group," Martin said. "A lot of people who have been diagnosed or are being diagnosed with cancer are having to go to Montgomery and elsewhere for treatment."

The Tallassee Cancer Support Group meets monthly at the Community Hospital. For more information, contact Martin at 334-991-4680 or visit their page on Facebook.

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