By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
Councilwoman Beverly Kinney announced Monday during a Grand Island Town Board meeting that she has cancer.
"I would like to put things in perspective," Kinney said at the end of a contentious and nearly four-hour meeting, which featured several acrimonious arguments on various topics. "This board is aware that recently I had surgery three weeks ago, and after several more tests, I have been diagnosed with cancer."
Kinney described her illness as an "uncommon" stage 1 cancer, saying 1 percent of this type of cancer is ever found at this stage.
"I have the good news, that I've had follow-up scans that indicate there's no cancer anywhere else or in my lymph nodes, which is very good news," she said.
"However, the treatment for my cancer is a very aggressive chemo/radiation, five days a week, six weeks, starting in two weeks," Kinney said.
The treatment is necessary to eradicate any additional cancer cells left behind after surgery, she said.
She said she has received a good prognosis, with a cure rate that is "very high, 90 percent" in this particular stage.
The treatment program is "very aggressive," Kinney stated, and would sometimes prevent her from attending committee meetings in person. She said she could not take on any additional committee positions, though she indicated she would follow online broadcasts of meetings.
"At this time, my plate is full," Kinney said.
"Because I've already been asked this question by a couple of people, I'd like to address it now so that it's perfectly clear to everyone. I have no plans to step down from my position now or in the future. I plan to complete my treatment and be back to work as soon as I am able," she said.
"And I would like to end this saying that life is precious. I care about Grand Island. I try to do my very best to represent myself and Grand Island in a very honest way and with great integrity. That's how I live my life, and that's how I plan to continue to live my life.
"My hope and my wish, other than surviving - and I'm sure I will - is for all of you to be kinder to each other ... and to be respectful."