Steve Morrow is a big, strong guy who battles a formidable foe — cancer. At a recent meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Brandon, he talked about his cancer fight, and the strength he found at the Campo Family YMCA in Valrico.
"I like to say, 'I lost my leg but I won the war," said Morrow, a two-time cancer survivor. "It's a tough road, but luckily I have my wife, my family, behind me."
So, too, the Cancer Survivor Program at the Campo Family YMCA on Culbreath Road in Valrico, where Morrow has been an active participant. He was the at the April 4 meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Brandon to talk about that program, with Anne McFee, senior director of development for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA.
Morrow said he lost his leg after he spotted a tumor there, for which "no medicine could stop the pain."
"It wasn't a way to live," he said. "I'm a pretty good-sized guy, always in shape, and I got out of shape. I wasn't as young as I used to be, I couldn't bounce back."
He said he lost his job as a project manager for a multi- million-dollar company. Soon, he ended up "in a dark hole."
"Everybody thought I was Superman, I thought I was Superman," he said. "One day I woke up and realized I wasn't Superman."
Morrow said as a kid in Boston he went to the YMCA, where "we stayed out of trouble." The Y, he added, "was always a safe haven."
Today, through the Cancer Survivor Program at the Campo Family YMCA, Morrow finds continuing support.
"They know what you're going through, they're trained for it," he said. "They know how to help you and push you the right way."
And there's more.
"Physically, it was a good thing for me," Morrow said. "Mentally, it was awesome, too."
The program is free and you do not have to be a YMCA member to participate, McFee said.
For information, contact the Campo Family YMCA at 813-684-1371, ext. 206. The YMCA is at 3414 Culbreath Road in Valrico, off Bloomingdale Avenue and just west of Lithia-Pinecrest Road.
More to come.