Coatesville Alumnus Is a Cancer Survivor Racing for a Cure

Getting right to the point on March 3rd, Earl Dering Jr. continued to show his bravery by providing a follow-up message on Facebook regarding his courageous battle with cancer.

“I like remembering how far I’ve come in the few years since my surgery. Some of you know, but some of you don’t,” he shared with friends and followers.

Many have had the unfortunate chance to know at least one person who has had a battle with cancer. Earl has successfully beaten the odds with his determination and the help of his family and friends. He is now on a mission, fighting for everyone inflicted with cancer:  past, present, and future. Not hiding his story is one major way he gives back. But, that’s not all.

Earl has taken it upon himself to not only share powerful messages, but also he is participating in a race to find a cure. He is raising money for the American Cancer Society by participating in the Blue Cross Broad Street Run on May 6th, 2018.

While currently residing in Caernarvon Township in Lancaster County, Earl was raised in East Fallowfield Township in Chester County. A graduate of the Coatesville Senior High School, Class of 1992, Earl enthusiastically bursts with “Coatesville Pride.” Among many great attributes, he has a strikingly positive attitude and witty personality. In fact, he is so popular with his fellow Coatesville classmates that years ago many good-humoredly bestowed him the title, “The Mayor of Facebook.”

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As we all know, sometimes bad things happen to good people. After being diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma on his face only two months after his first Broad Street Run in May 2013, Earl had to undergo surgery to remove the cancer in October of the same year.

“They basically had to remove my left cheek,”  Earl continued on Facebook while expressing how he felt at the time. “I was angry, annoyed, and scared that day. I didn’t take any pictures or even talk about it much to anyone.”

The following year (2014), Earl was feeling better. He mentioned attending the Broad Street Run kick-off meeting that year, where others’ experiences with cancer were being shared. “At that point, I decided it was time to tell my story. I began to share it with anyone who wanted to know what happened to me and what I had gone through.”

Earl’s first reconstructive surgery was on March 3, 2014. “I decided to keep it light from that point on and do whatever I could to help find a cure for cancer,” he said. Earl noted that what helped most through all of his surgeries was that he received so much support and encouragement from family and friends. It fueled his hope and that made all the difference.

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“I am a cancer survivor!” Earl stated emphatically in his Facebook post. He spoke with me later and added, “But really, I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the love and support of my friends and family.”

Cancer doesn’t just impact the person who has it; it impacts everyone in that person’s circle of life. “There are so many people who have supported me,” Earl said. “Honestly, there are too many to mention, but they know who they are.”

When times were the toughest, Earl’s wife of nearly 18 years, Cindy, and their three daughters, Kendall and Courtney (as shown at the top of this page), and Miranda (not shown) were who inspired him the most to persevere. Earl made sure not to forget his beloved pets, who stuck by his side when he needed some comforting.

Now, it’s not only about his personal journey or those who have encouraged him throughout his battle. Earl will continue on his inspiring expedition by once again participating in his 5th Broad Street Run in Philadelphia on May 6 at 8 AM. The race is 10 miles long, starting at Central High School and ending at the Naval Yard.

While Earl set his fundraising goal at a mere $1000, Chester County residents and others can pull together to do much more.

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“I am fighting for a cure for everyone. So, I am hoping for support for the race. If not for me, support someone else who is involved or even take part in the race yourself,” Earl said in a patient and thankful voice.

“Cancer will not win!

And there is no doubt that Earl and many others are true winners by raising money to help find a cure for cancer by participating in and/or supporting the Broad Street Run.

Earl spends the whole year training and participating in other local races, but the Broad Street Run is near and dear to his heart. It’s not only because of what this race supports, but also it was Earl’s very first race.

Earl Dering Jr

To sponsor Earl in the Broad Street Run, please make your pledge by clicking here.

If you’re interested in participating the Broad Street Run, you can join Earl’s charity team, Team DetermiNation. Learn more at www.acsdetermination.org/broadstreetrun.

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Timothy Alexander
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Timothy Alexander
March 9, 2018 3:03 pm

This is an inspiring story… and a wonderful lesson: Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens.

Steven
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Steven
March 9, 2018 3:25 pm

Beautifully written article. Inspirational journey of commitment to overcome and a continuance to help others do the same.

Chris Boyer
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Chris Boyer
March 9, 2018 8:54 pm

Thank you Tina for bringing further attention to our friend and “Mayor” Earl, and thank you Earl for being the fighter that inspires those facing the fight…