County resident Tealia McCurdy staying strong in cancer battle

Theo Tate

Montgomery City resident Tealia McCurdy and daughter Magnolia pose near the Team Tealia Fundraiser at the Man Shop in Wellsville on April 17. THEO TATE PHOTO

Sitting at her lawn chair in the parking lot at the Man Shop in Wellsville on April 17, Tealia McCurdy enjoyed watching a sand volleyball match of 10 players under chilly conditions.

The Montgomery City resident wished she was out there playing.

But because she has colon cancer, McCurdy can’t play any sports.

“I wish I could,” McCurdy said.

In the early 2000s, McCurdy was an athlete at Wellsville-Middletown High School, playing softball and basketball. She later participated in volleyball leagues at Wellsville.

Now, McCurdy is determined to beat cancer so she could start playing sports again.

“Our goal for her is to ring that bell,” said Melissa Burton, McCurdy’s friend and co-worker at the Noble Health Clinic in Montgomery City.

The sand volleyball match was part of the Team Tealia fundraiser that was held at the Man Shop. There were sand volleyball and cornhole tournaments, a 50/50 drawing and barbecue at the event.

Another Team Tealia fundraiser is scheduled for May 8. There will be a softball tournament at the Wellsville Ballpark that starts at 8 a.m. Then, there will be a dinner and a silent auction at Grace Lutheran Hall at 4 p.m.

Proceeds of all of the fundraisers will help pay for medical expenses.

“With all of them combined, we would like to get at least $50,000,” Burton said. “We have three Florida vacations donated. We have a whole bunch of baskets for the silent auction.”

McCurdy said she is pleased with the support from the Wellsville community.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s unbelievable that the community has come together and helped with everything.”

McCurdy, 36, was diagnosed with Stage 3C colon cancer a year ago. There are four stages of colon cancer, which is the second deadliest cancer in the United States.

“I started having some issues about a year or so ago, like constipation and stool issues and different things like that,” said McCurdy, who had a colonoscopy in November. “I kind of put it off thinking, “Oh, it’s nothing. It’s not a big deal.’ But things started getting worse. So then finally, I had some blood work done. The blood work didn’t look good. Then, I went to get a GI (gastrointestinal) exam. The GI did an upper and lower and they found cancer. I have no family history of colon cancer.”

The cancer was spread into McCurdy’s sphincter, lymph nodes and uterus. Burton, who used to babysit McCurdy when she was a little girl, said she was shocked with the news.

“It was devastating,” she said. “It hit our clinic hard. Many tears were shed.”

McCurdy lived in Wellsville most of her life until she moved to Montgomery City in 2016. She works as a licensed practical nurse at the Noble Health clinic. She took a leave of absence due to her cancer.

“I have to have surgery on May 21, which is a big, big surgery,” said McCurdy, who graduated from W-M in 2003. “I probably will be out for a couple of more months doing rehab and stuff. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’ll be back to work.”

McCurdy said after she found out her cancer diagnosis, she got plenty of help from her colleagues such as Burton, Melanie Carr and Tina Birkner.

“They all kind of jumped together and said, ‘Let’s do this Team Tealia,’” McCurdy said. “That’s how it all came together. They were my backbone. I couldn’t have made it through without them, that’s for sure.”

Burton said McCurdy remains upbeat despite her health issues.

“She’s a trooper,” Burton said. “She’s non-stop and on the go. She stays very active with her daughter and her husband. She plays cards with her friends and goes bowling. She’s been keeping herself very active as much as she can.”

McCurdy has a two-year-old daughter named Magnolia. Her husband, Gary, is a deputy of the Audrain County Sheriff’s Department.

McCurdy said her daughter has been a big inspiration to her.

“She’s my go-to,” McCurdy said. “I have to go for her. She’s my push. If it wasn’t for her, it would have been harder.”

McCurdy has some advice for people who are showing symptoms of colon disorders.

“I had the symptoms, but I didn’t have all of them in the beginning,” McCurdy said. “If you’re having symptoms, go get tested. Whether you’re aging or not, just go do it. Get the blood work done and get the colonoscopy done.”



Montgomery Standard

115 W. Third St.
PO Box 190
Montgomery City, MO 63361

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