A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky by Heart: Justin Evans’ positive attitude helps through cancer treatments; back to old self

By Steve Flairty Special to KyForward For the regular customers at the Richmond Road Panera Bread, in Lexington, they could tell something wasn’t right with the store manager, Justin Evans. Justin tried to be his usual jovial and upbeat self, but it was a struggle, especially to do so for a nine-hour shift. Truth be told, it just might have had something to do with the chemo treatments he was undergoing...

Appalachian residents more likely to die from smoking-related diseases; how to decrease smoking

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News It’s well documented that people in Appalachia die sooner than other Americans, and are more likely to die from smoking-related diseases. It doesn’t have to stay that way; a new report offers a detailed list of strategies and policies proven to decrease smoking, the cause of many premature deaths. The report was created by Appalachian Regional...

Linebacker Josh Paschal returns to play in last football home game of the year after battling cancer

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Josh Paschal never knew if he would play football this season or ever again after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma nearly three months ago. He returned on Kentucky’s last home game of the year. 
One of Kentucky’s most promising defensive players, the sophomore linebacker spent most of his second season with the Wildcats developing a treatment plan, while...

Louisville area business leaders to join American Cancer Society for Real Men Wear Pink campaign

Men from Louisville and southern Indiana will unite to fight breast cancer with the American Cancer Society through participation in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign. In addition to wearing pink and raising awareness about breast cancer, these men will be raising funds to help the American Cancer Society attack cancer from every angle and save more lives from breast cancer. The campaign kicked off...

Lexington to serve as stop on 100-mile walk to raise awareness of firefighter cancer, PTSD and suicide

The Kentucky Fire Commission will serve as one stop on a six-day walk that began Sunday to help raise awareness about the leading causes of firefighter deaths in the United States. The Kentucky Fire Commission will host participants of the My Brother’s Burden walk at noon on Friday at its offices in Lexington, at 118 James Court. The day prior, the group will be at the Scott County Fire Department,...

First Combat Challenge Fundraiser to raise money for Lexington fire, police families battling cancer

Proof Fitness partners with White, Greer and Maggard Orthodontics to present the inaugural Proof Fitness Combat Challenge, a fitness and endurance competition between two teams representing Lexington’s Fire and Police departments with the mission of supporting Lexington Fire and Police families who have a child fighting against cancer. “We are excited about this community event hosted by Proof,”...

University of Kentucky’s Career Training in Oncology Program preparing next generation of cancer fighters

By Allison Perry and Alicia Gregory Special to KyForward For Carrigan Wasilchenko – and so many others hailing from Eastern Kentucky – cancer is not just a public health issue. It’s also a problem that hits far too close to home. “I don’t think I know one person who doesn’t know someone who’s been affected by cancer in some way,” said Wasilchenko, whose mother...

Advertising campaign for cigarette-tax hike will remind Kentuckians of the damage done by smoking

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Kentuckians will be reminded of their state’s suffering from smoking in a way not seen before, a $100,000 advertising campaign advocating a $1-a-pack increase in the state cigarette tax. Television commercials, billboards, digital media and print ads from the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow use health concerns as the reason to raise the 60-cent tax to $1.60,...

Kentucky Bluegrass Cannabis launches statewide grassroots campaign to promote medical marijuana

Kentucky Bluegrass Cannabis, LLC has launched a statewide grassroots campaign seeking to pass legislation that will legalize, regulate, and tax medical marijuana in Kentucky. The campaign – known as Compassionate Access and Relief Effectiveness (CARE) for Kentucky – advocates that citizens and policymakers support legislation currently before the Kentucky General Assembly to legalize medical cannabis. The...

Kentucky moves up slightly in America’s Health Rankings, but there’s little reason to celebrate

Kentucky moved up three notches in the latest America’s Health Rankings, from 45th to 42nd, but its improvement stemmed mainly from gains in the factors that determine health, not the actual health outcomes. The state was 39th in health determinants (clinical care, policy, community and environment) but 46th in outcomes, such as the death rate from cancer, which is the nation’s worst. That...

Secretary of State’s Medical Cannabis Task Force discusses concepts of 2018 Legislative proposal

Members of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Rep. John Sims’ medical cannabis task force on Thursday discussed the concepts of a legislative proposal for the 2018 legislative session. The legislation is anticipated to be bipartisan. “In the weeks since we announced this effort on medical cannabis, I’ve heard the stories of Kentuckians in every part of the state – countless...

University of Kentucky study shows lower lung cancer rates in cities with tougher smoke-free laws

A recent study by University of Kentucky BREATHE (Bridging Research Efforts and Advocacy Toward Healthy Environments) researchers shows that fewer new cases of lung cancer were found in communities with strong smoke-free workplace laws. The study, “Lung Cancer Incidence and the Strength of Municipal Smoke-free Ordinances” was published in Cancer, an American Cancer Society journal dedicated...

Secretary of State meets with advocates to discuss ‘patient-centered’ medical marijuana legislation

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Tuesday initiated discussions about Kentucky medical marijuana legislation with a panel of experts and advocates in Frankfort. Grimes announced the effort last week. “I came to Frankfort to help people, and there are thousands of Kentuckians who need and are begging for medical marijuana to help ease their pain,” said Grimes. “Today’s...

Secretary of State convening task force to propose legislative action to legalize medical marijuana

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is convening a task force of Kentuckians to focus on a legislative proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky, Grimes announced Wednesday. The group will also study and propose potential implementation and regulation processes. “Too many Kentuckians are suffering from debilitating physical and mental illnesses. Most have lived with the effects...

Constance Alexander: Cancer no longer a word that must be spoken in a whisper or with shame

When I was in fifth grade, my mother had cancer. The three older children in the family were already out of the house – two in college, and the oldest married with one little girl. Still at home, my sister Jeanne and I were left to tread the tides that churned up daily turmoil and intermittent confusion about what it meant for a family to contend with serious illness. After all these years, it is...

Josh Blair: Breast Cancer Awareness hits close to home; too many loved ones are lost to the disease

October brings thoughts of apple cider, pumpkin pie, and football But it’s also a time to reflect on something more important: breast cancer. Every year, October is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This topic hits close to home for me. Last March, I lost my stepmother, Lucinda, to breast cancer. It was her second fight with the terrible disease and unfortunately this time she didn’t...

Empowerment Series for Women to address fears, uncertainties associated with cancer diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. The Empowerment Series for Women with Cancer is designed to help free women diagnosed with cancer from stress and fear as much as possible and provide answers to many of their questions. This free series of programs, sponsored by Baptist Health Lexington, gets underway Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. at Central Baptist Church, 110 Wilson Downing Road in Lexington. The...

With cancer in the rearview mirror, it’s back to school time once again for Versailles teacher Erika Carter

By Samantha Almeida Special to KyForward Dealing with a classroom full of rowdy second-graders can be taxing on even the most patient, energetic individual. But for 42-year-old Versailles schoolteacher Erika Carter, her real challenges have happened outside the classroom. In the summer of 2015, she visited her doctor for her regular yearly checkup and bloodwork, which yielded some bad news: an anomaly...

Constance Alexander: Book detailing recovery from cancer provides a message of hope to McCain family

Thanks to complicated surgery, aggressive chemotherapy and rigorous rehabilitation, Lisa Reisman survived a deadly glioblastoma multiforme when she was 32. GBM, as it is called, has a median survival rate of one to two years. Nonetheless, 19 years later, she has defied the statistics. Her book — “5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours” – covers the details of her devastating diagnosis and chronicles...

Not just for pain relief and fever anymore, regular use of aspirin could reduce your risk for cancer

By Jill Koselar Special to KyForward Most of us have likely taken aspirin at some point in our lives for a common minor ailment like headaches, fever or muscle cramps. Research has also shown this drug to be an effective part of treatment for heart attacks and strokes. But more recent research on aspirin suggests it may be beneficial in yet another way — by reducing the risk of developing and dying...