By Jackie Salowitz
Tribune Recorder Leader
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Sanilac County Youth Sports football teams will be sponsoring an event on Saturday, October 7, with proceeds from the day going to Ginny Bissett, a long-time employee and secretary at Sandusky Elementary. Ginny is currently battling breast cancer.
The games will be held at the Sandusky High School football field, with parents/spectators wearing pink, along with the youth football players wearing pink socks. Three games will be held at one time, starting at 9:00 a.m., and ending at 2:00 p.m. A coaches’ flag football game will begin at 2:15 p.m.
There will be a 50/50 raffle, along with baskets that have been donated by various businesses and parents, which will also be raffled.
A food truck will be on-site for the event also.
Ginny Bissett, age 75, a secretary at Sandusky Elementary for 33 years, was diagnosed in May of this year with breast cancer. Although she had not been feeling quite right for a while, she just thought it was “old age”. Ginny had a sore on her breast but did not think much of it. Ginny failed to show up to work four days straight, and the staff became concerned. It wasn’t long before an ambulance was taking her to McKenzie Health System. Mckenzie sent Ginny to Beaumont Hospital – Royal Oak that night, where she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and set up for rehab.
Bissett is on a course of oral chemotherapy along with 10 sessions of radiation, all of which are handled in Marlette. Ginny will likely be taking oral chemotherapy for the rest of her life. Thankfully, she has had no ill-effects from the pills. Ginny had a PET scan in August, with encouraging results. Ginny also had genetic testing done, with results from that coming this month. She wants her children/grandchildren to know if her cancer is genetic or not. The blood draw was in Saginaw and was sent to California, where they specialize in genetic testing.
Ginny is an alum of Sandusky Schools, graduating on June Sixth, 1966. She went on to business school and did a “tour” at MSU. She started in the Sandusky School systems when she was in her forties, having previously worked at fertilizer plants. Ginny had wanted to spend more time with her two children, Anne-Marie and Shane, but the opportunity to work at Sandusky Schools kind of fell into her lap, getting an interview on a Friday and receiving a call the following Monday morning informing Ginny she had the job.
Cathy Markey, who also works as a secretary at the school said, “I always enjoyed working with Miss Ginny. Her love for the children has always shown through, as well as her love of the staff.”
Erica Campbell, Director of Early Childhood GSRP Teacher, at Sandusky Elementary said, “Ms. Ginny is kind, loving, inspirational and one of the strongest women I know. Ms. Ginny would do anything for her community. I love seeing our community rally together for her at this difficult time. Please come out and support the Pink Out game and say Hi to Ms. Ginny”.
Mr. Louis Williams, Principal at Sandusky Elementary School said, “Ginny was the first person I met when I moved to Sandusky, she has been my Sandusky mom. She’s always wonderful to work with. Ms. Ginny knows a lot of people and is always willing to help anyone who is in need”.
Ginny has had a lot of enjoyment working at the school and has plans to return in November, if everything goes according to plan. An active member of the Sandusky City Council (20 years and counting), she was planning to attend Monday night’s meeting. Ginny is housed at Stonegate Assisted Living right now, but she has plans to be back in her house soon.
Ginny would like to thank the community for the support they have generously given. She said, “The support from the area has been overwhelming. That’s what is so great about living in a small community.”
Her children: daughter, Anne-Marie Strickler and her fiance’ Adam Korth, who now live in Clinton Township, Anne-Marie’s son, Devin Strickler lives in Georgia; Ginny’s son Shane and his wife Andi live in Big Rapids with their children, Wil, Owen and Brooke. They are so thankful for the support too, as they live a good distance from Sandusky, it gives them some solace, knowing how the community has rallied behind her.