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Warner Robins couple beat cancer 4 times, still fighting

Little did Terry and Karen Peavy know on their blind date in 1977 that it would lead to a marriage of 40 years and counting. But after the first 25 years, the Warner Robins couple has had to each beat cancer twice/Eric Mock (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Little did Terry and Karen Peavy know on their blind date in 1977 that it would lead to a marriage of 40 years and counting.

But after the first 25 years, the Warner Robins couple has had to fight for their lives.

First, Terry was diagnosed with a tongue cancer in 2002. Shortly thereafter, he started chemo and radiation therapy.

Karen still remembers what it was like to see her husband go through it.

“I started remembering things that he liked," she said. "And it would make me sad that maybe he wouldn’t be able to see another sunset that he enjoyed so much.”

Then the Peavy’s got the best Christmas present anyone can ask for...

“I think it was Christmas Eve," Terry said. "They called and said I was cancer free after I completed all the treatments.”

But the celebration wouldn’t last long.

At a follow up treatment in 2003, there was more bad news for Terry.

“In June, they did a biopsy on his thyroid and discovered that he had thyroid cancer,” Karen said.

Surgery removed the cancer, although Terry continued to take radioactive iodine treatments. It's something Karen would learn about firsthand just a few years later.

Just four years after her husband beat his second round of cancer, Karen was diagnosed with the same type of thyroid cancer.

“It’s tough because you don’t want them to go through the same thing that you did," Terry said. "Fortunately, her surgery wasn’t any big deal.”

Karen's thyroid surgery was a success.

But more bad news followed years later, as Terry was diagnosed with a kidney disease -- prompting a trip to Emory University Hospital about finding him a living kidney donor.

However, that had to be put on hold after Karen got yet another dreaded call.

“Breast cancer came in 2017," she said. "[Terry's] appointment had to be cancelled because of my going through treatment.”

After a successful lumpectomy and other treatments, Karen beat her breast cancer this May.

“When you have an illness like that -- like cancer or something that could be terminal -- your life changes," Karen said. "Things that you take for granted. It changes you.”

But the battle isn’t over.

Right now, Terry still needs a kidney. And after four fights with cancer, they’re not giving up.

“Being alone would be difficult," Karen said. "Not having him, losing him is not an option. We’re just going to fight through it.”

The Peavy's say their neighbors and church family has been vital in supporting them.

Donations have already been made to help Terry get some dental work he needs to become candidate for a kidney transplant.

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