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Survivor Story: Joann McKnight

Posted by Pete Visintin on

Written and Contributed by Joann McKnight


Hometown:  Benld, IL


I have lived in Benld for 19 years.  We moved here in April 1997 from Arkansas.  I am dealing with a lot of health issues right now.  My family has a history of strokes, cancer, heart disease, and kidney disease.  


My brother passed away in September 2012 at age 58.  My youngest sister passed away in July 2009 at age 42 from a stroke and heart attack.  My brother had bone and prostate cancer, and it spread through his whole body.  


In 2014 my doctor from Maple Street Clinic in Gillespie, IL sent me to St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield for tests and an ultrasound.  They found that my glands and thyroid were enlarged.


From there I was sent to SIU Health Care in Springfield, IL to see a specialist and to run more tests and x-rays.  I had 2 biopsies done and the results of both showed that I had throat cancer on my right side.  I had to go into surgery right away on November 26th, 2014 (Thanksgiving) at St. Johns Hospital in Springfield, IL to remove my right thyroid.  The surgeons said they believed they were able to remove all the cancer.


In January 2015 I was told that after doing another biopsy it was determined I now also had throat cancer on my left side and would need surgery again to remove it.  I was told the cancer could reoccur and could go to my stomach, liver, or kidneys.  I also have a kidney disease called polycystic.  Right now my kidneys are only functioning at a 34, and they are supposed to between 50 - 90.  


I have 3 sisters and a brother with the same kidney disease.  I'm still having additional health issues and am in a a lot of pain from my kidney problems.


I'm still going back and forth to St. Johns Hospital to see doctors for on-going treatments, tests, and x-rays.  


I appreciate anything Fight the Fight and it's supporters can do to help me out with my climbing medical costs.  


God bless you all!






More than 50% of the proceeds from all Fight the Fight purchases made between June 1st, 2016 to June 15th, 2016 will be donated to Joann to help cover her medical expenses.


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