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The Carthage Press
  • Milt's Militia backs administrator in cancer fight

  • A school year that began with a potentially tragic diagnosis for Carthage High School Assistant Principal Milt Wick ended with a day of fun as "Milt's Militia" took over the school's hallways.
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  • A school year that began with a potentially tragic diagnosis for Carthage High School Assistant Principal Milt Wick ended with a day of fun as "Milt's Militia" took over the school's hallways.
    The seven-year administrator found out just before the start of the school year that he had cancer, but thanks to finding the cancer fairly early and aggressive treatment, Wick said he's probably cancer free.
    "I started treatment, radiation and chemo, in late July and that first round continued into September," Wick said. "Then I had surgery in October to remove the cancer and it looks like they got it all. They removed it, but the initial course of chemo and radiation did a real good job and they shrank it from being the size of a quarter to being about the size of a daisy BB, before they removed it."
    Wick said he missed the annual cancer survivors dinner, hosted by the planners of Carthage's annual Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, because of a school event, but he plans on making an appearance at Friday night's Relay for Life main event at Carthage's Central Park.
    Also, all the proceeds from the sale of the Milt's Militia t-shirts are going to the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life.
    Wick said his daughter came up with the idea for the t-shirts, and it was Laurel Rosenthal and the staff at Mark Twain Elementary School, where Wick's wife, Sherri, teaches second grade, that got the ball rolling with the first order of 25 shirts.
    "Then word got out via face book and mouth to mouth around Carthage, as it does, and then the high school wanted a run," Wick said. "I don't know what the total is, but it's north of 50 and the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. I missed the Cancer Survivor's dinner, I wanted to make it, but hopefully I'll be a cancer survivor for a lot of years, so I don't have to pack it all in the first year."
    Wick said the support of the staff at the high school made it easier to take care of his health.
    "I had to miss a few weeks with surgery, but Brett Bosch (social studies teacher) stepped up," Wick said. "He has his administrative certification. We got a long-term sub for Brett and he helped with the day-to-day while I was out. Other people picked up, (Principal) Sandy (Frazier), (Assistant Principal) Matt (Huntley) and (Assistant Principal) Sam (Rogers), they picked up some additional supervision on the nights where I couldn't be at games and they took a lot of that off my shoulders."
    Wick said he never really had a "down day" after his diagnosis. He said serving 25 years in the Marine Corps may have had something to do with his positive attitude and ability to deal with treatments that were damaging his body while killing cancer cells.
    Page 2 of 2 - "It was like, okay, this is a new reality, it's something I just have to do," Wick said. "The sad thing is there are thousands of people diagnosed every day and I was fortunate that it was caught when it was caught. Had they caught it six months later, it might have been a different story. Because of this and other family members that have had cancer, I'm really interested in giving back to the American Cancer Society and the community and helping other people who are struggling."
    The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Carthage kicks off Friday at Central Park with fundraising activities starting at 5 p.m. and an opening ceremony at 7 p.m.
    Survivor and caregiver recognition will take place at 7:15 p.m. and the popular and emotional Luminary ceremony will take place at 9:15 p.m.
    Activities will take place at the park all night, with closing ceremony slated for 6 a.m. Saturday.
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