The Ottumwa Courier

May 11, 2013

Honoring those who battled cancer

By CINDY TOOPES
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — To honor those who have been touched by breast cancer or any other kind of cancer.

That's why Jeff Griffiths and his family have special paint signs on their two race cars. Made by Bingham Signs of Russell, the painted cars bear messages about breast cancer, including the pink ribbons.

Dustin Griffiths drives "10 G," and Dale Porter has "10." Both are owned by the Griffiths family, and they drive on dirt tracks most of the time.

Jeff Griffiths said his wife, Angie, has had cancer three times.

"I had cancer in 2011 and again in 2012," she said. "Early detection helped me. It was a rough two years."

Angie said her first round of cancer was in 1997. Next came a large lump that was cancerous, and Angie also said she tried looking at the good side and listening to the doctors. She was clear for 15 years and then came the "first big tumor," which was more than 2 centimeters.

At that time she did chemotherapy and radiation.

In 2011, Angie had a mammogram and found a small lump, which was cancerous. Then, in 2012, she got another diagnosis of cancer.

"But, I'm beating this deadly disease for the third time," she said. "Early detection is the key to a long life."

Shortly after Angie was done with her treatment, the family found out Dustin's grandmother, Sharon Gooden, had the same thing. Gooden found the problem in a mammogram but is now cancer free.Janell VanBuskirk, Dustin's girlfriend, has also known a lot of people who have been affected by breast cancer.

The Griffiths family has raced for years on dirt tracks and have numerous trophies to prove it. They race at the South Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, and also at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, the Bloomfield Speedway in Bloomfield and the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

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NOTE: The original version of this story misidentified Angie Griffiths. She is Jeff Griffiths' wife.