Saturday, June 2, 2018

Cancer survivors celebrate life, hope and community support

These local veterans fought one of their hardest battles after their service, and today they celebrated
Dayton Daily News
By Bennett Leckrone, Staff Writer
June 1, 2018
“There’s much more to healing (than medical treatment) It takes family, it takes friends, it takes community.” Jennifer DeFrancesco
The Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center held its first Cancer Survivors’ Day on Friday. SCOTT KESSLER/STAFF.
When Ray Smeltzer, a Miamisburg resident and Vietnam veteran, was diagnosed with prostate cancer around a year ago, he wasn’t aware it could have been caused by his military service.

Smeltzer’s aggressive prostate cancer, he was told, was associated with a foliage-killing chemical he had encountered as an Air Force sergeant in Vietnam.

“I went through a number of years without any evidence of contamination, but in my later years I found that I had a very aggressive and rapidly growing form of prostate cancer that they’ve associated with that exposure,” Smeltzer said.

Seeking treatment, he went somewhere new: The Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

On Friday, he attended an event at the VA Medical Center to celebrate cancer survivors. Through all of his treatment and surgeries, Smeltzer said, the VA has supported and served him.
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