By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Three local residents share their experiences with cancer. Register for Times Talks event Oct. 19
Oct. 19 cancer awareness panel

Update, Oct. 19: Melinda Smith is not able to attend the event. Instead, male breast cancer survivor Aubrey Glencamp will be sharing about his experiences, in addition to the others.


A cancer diagnosis is life-changing news. For three local residents who shared their stories with The Times, that has been true in several ways. 

On Oct. 19, they will share their stories in a live Times Talks virtual event.  

Donald Cantrell was diagnosed this year with cancer of the esophagus and top of the stomach and said he learned just how strong his family is and how important his support system is. 

"When you can feel that somebody is praying for you, it makes a big difference," he said. 

West Hall high schooler Will Wagner is savoring every moment on the football field after a brain cancer diagnosis in 2012 made those dreams seem impossible. 

Nurse Melinda Smith, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, said "I realized during that time I need to start focusing on my health." Finding ways to incorporate vegetables into her diet and exercise into her routines has become a priority. 

Their stories and others are included in this year’s cancer awareness special coverage. And at 3 p.m. Oct. 19, Times staff members Kelsey Podo and Thomas Hartwell will host a live Times Talks conversation with Cantrell, Wagner and Smith.  

The event will be held virtually over Zoom, and those attending can submit questions live. Those interested in hearing these perspectives and stories can register online. 

Times Talks | With those diagnosed with cancer 

What: Local residents with cancer diagnoses share their stories of how the disease changed them and their perspectives

When: 3 p.m., Oct. 19 

Where: Virtual event on Zoom 

Register: gainesvilletimes.com/virtualevents 

Regional events