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Byron's Story

How it began…

Many people may already be aware of my situation, however for others, this may be new.

Byron Fair

Byron Fair

My life came to a halt on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. What was supposed to be a routine physical turned into much more than I would ever expect in just a few hours. After an ultrasound and many vials of blood taken, I was told that I had a form of testicular cancer. Yeah, as you can imagine that’s not something I was really expecting to hear as a 28 year old. Before the initial shock could really wear off, I was scheduled for surgery the coming Saturday to remove the “mass” which had formed.

While recovering from surgery, I began to process my situation with much nervousness, worry and anxiety. Not knowing what type of cancer I had, being that there can be many variations to this type of cancer, my mind went into overdrive. I needed to rest.

Knowing…

The news came after over a long week of waiting on the pathology report. I had an “uncommon” type of lymphoma. A t-cell hystiocyte – rich large b-cell lymphoma, for all you doctors and nurses out there. This was a blessing! Strangely, hearing my diagnosis put me at ease. Knowing what it was gave me peace that it could be beat. I am the associate pastor at St. Mark UMC in Northport, Alabama, so ministering to the sick and afflicted is something I do everyday, but then I found myself on the other side, clinging to the promises in God’s word for healing. Exodus 14:14 tells us that, “The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” I knew what He was going to be fighting in this season of my life, and I had nothing to worry about. Just as the story is told in Exodus, the Israelites may not have known how God was going to fight, but they knew who He was going to fight. Knowing my cancer meant knowing what to specifically pray for, other than just for strength. I was able to finally be calm and except my situation as reality.

I needed to keep going…

After the diagnosis, my oncologist sat me down and walked me through my treatment plan. This included three rounds of chemo, with an added three rounds of spinal-injected chemo, and ten rounds of radiation. My last treatment date was planned to be the day before Christmas Eve. I began treatment in September, and although no part of losing your hair, throwing up, or chemo migraines should be classified as boring, I still felt the need to remain active and stay as normal as possible in order to not let it bring me down. I had never quite finished my master’s degree at The University of Alabama, so after a four-year break from classes, I went back and finished my degree and graduated in the spring of 2015.

Seeing a need…

For what ever reason, one day around the first of the year, I thought it would be interesting to see what money was out there for someone with cancer to finish school. To my quick surprise, I found that many scholarships were very limited or specific to the individual’s circumstances. That is what truly sparked my interest in starting and founding the Fair Hope Foundation, Inc. Cancer is not something that anyone wants or even expects, and with astronomical expenses for treatment, consultations, medication, etc., there isn’t much financial room for anything else. For many young people diagnosed with cancer, college is something that they may have to delay or completely rule out. I decided that this was not the way it should be. Why shouldn’t young adults be able to go to school and fulfill the calling that is placed on their lives just because of a bump in the road? As you may know by now, our goal at the Fair Hope Foundation is to provide moral and financial support to young adults affected by cancer. My question to you is, how can you help? 


Byron Fair 

Founder/President