Heather Black

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Video: The Columbus YMCA Supports Long-time Employee Through Cancer Battle

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)-It is the stone that makes the ripple in the lives of everyone that it touches. Cancer impacts the individual, as well as family and friends. One long-time Columbus YMCA employee is back at work after a long battle with bone cancer.

Back in 1983 just out of College Perry Hendrix walked into the YMCA in downtown Columbus to lead the basketball program.

“This opportunity came open and it deals with sports and kids and that’s what I liked,” says Perry Hendrix.

For the next 30 years Perry spent time building relationships with members and employees.

“Perry has been an integral part of my growth here I started teaching one aerobic class and now I’m the membership director he’s kept me on point and he keeps me honest,” says Melissa Parsons.

“That’s kind of the way the Y is. It’s a family oriented organization,” says Hendrix.

It was that same family organization that supported him and his family when he was diagnosed with cancer in January 2013.

“I broke my arm and I had osteosarcoma it. So I’ve gone through six rounds of chemo. Had surgery…had artificial prosthesis put in my arm so it’s been pretty tough,” says Hendrix.

Melissa Parsons and other staff members responded immediately to the news.

“It put me into prayer mode and I then it also put me into plan of action mode. To do whatever we could for Perry to help him while he was recuperating to make sure he had meals and to make sure that his work was carried out here,” says Parsons.

While Perry was away some students in the After School Program decided to create a poster. One comment somebody left says “walking by faith is living in reality not yet seen.

“Pretty overwhelming that how much that many people really know who I was and know what I was going through,” says Hendrix.

Perry says it was the hundreds of phone calls and cards that got him through.

“I like to thank all the Y staff and all the members here that they’ve been really kind to me and considerate so it’s been a blessing,” says Hendrix.

Doctors say it will take Perry up to a year to get back to where he was, but he says he is growing stronger everyday.