'Chickenman' sets an example while fighting cancer
Thu, 24 Feb 2011 15:39:51 GMT —
At some point in your life, you'll be affected by cancer. Chances are, it'll hit you or a loved one.
Most of those who've already been affected by it will tell you keeping a positive attitude is so important.
One Quincy man is a great example of a positive attitude, even in tough times like fighting cancer.
Our cameras were allowed to follow him through one of his treatments.
"I don't think half the people know my real name. They just know me by 'Chickenman'," says Dave Comer.Read more 'This chicken isn't about to give in': Relay for Life gets rousing kickoff (Quincy Herald-Whig) Eighinger: 'Chickenman' battling through each inning to defeat cancer (Quincy Herald-Whig) On the Street: Disc golf madness in Palmyra, 'American Idol' love (Quincy Herald-Whig)
His name is Dave Comer. He says he spent his whole career making people happy. He was once a clown for the Knights of Columbus and a mascot for the California Angels. Now he's the Marketing Manager for the Quincy Gems. Being around Dave for a second can put a smile on your face.
"I just like getting people smiling. If you give one smile, that smile can turn into a hundred smiles for somebody else. It makes their day better," says Comer.
Last November - on his birthday, no less - he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He immediately started treatment. He also immediately decided cancer was not going to get him down. After all, he's Chickenman.
"With a positive attitude from your friends and family, your neighbors, you can't possibly give up. You've got to keep fighting," says Comer.
"There's people sending me cards and letters that I have no clue who they are. I got one from a church that had 25 people on it that says 'Chickenman, get out to the ballpark. Good luck.' That means a lot to me," says Comer.
And Comer spreads the joy, too. He hands out cards to other patients at the Blessing Cancer Center. He gives away more smiles and kind words to the patients than he probably feels like giving. When Comer was first diagnosed, he didn't want to go public, but he wanted everyone around him to know he wouldn't be the same guy. Now that he has gone public, he's so grateful he can encourage others and says, at some point in the future, he hopes people can look back at cancer and say, 'It took some casualties, but we beat it. It's gone, and no one died for nothing.'
"If I can help just one person get through this, it's worth it. Sorry. The warmth and charity that people have just blows me away. My family's behind me, all my old co-workers, all the people that I meet. It's just really rewarding," says Comer.
Dave Comer says, like anyone going through cancer treatments, he has his down days.He says somedays, something small will set him off and he'll get really mad.And he wonders when he'll be back to normal.He's now finished with his chemotherapy.He has a few more radiation appointments, and then surgery.In true "Chickenman" form, Comer says on days he gets a double shot of radiation, he and the Cancer Center staff refer to the treatment as 'fried chicken'.On normal days, it's broasted chicken.