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Despite fighting for her life within the past year with stage 3 ovarian cancer, Karen and Mike Collins remained such faithful supporters of Ron Phillips’ ministry that they recently received RPM’s Partners of the Year of Award at Abba’s House church in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The couple thanked the congregation at RPM and the ministry’s television audience for the prayer support and emails when they were at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., fighting the disease. They said that while they were away from their church home, where they have attended for 39 years, the TV ministry meant even more to them and that they decided to continue their monthly support in spite of their ordeal.
Pastor Ron Phillips praised the couple and the church gave them a standing ovation to thank them for their support and to praise God for Karen’s healing.
“Watching the program while we were in Minnesota and continuing our financial support for the church made it a little more real to us,” Collins said. “Being able to watch Ron every Sunday brought a little piece of home to us. We just kept sending the checks, knowing that God would honor our faithfulness.”
The president of Mike Collins and Associates Information Technology Solutions, Collins established the Mike and Karen Collins Ovarian Cancer Research Fund to help fight ovarian cancer, which he says is the least-funded but most aggressive cancers women face. Karen Collins is now considered cancer-free after months of treatment at the Mayo Clinic.
The foundation is hosting the Ovarian Cancer Research Benefit golf tournament at Bear Trace in Harrison Bay, Tenn., on Sept. 14 to help raise money to fight the dreaded disease.
The American Cancer Society projects that approximately 15,500 women will die from ovarian cancer in 2012. The disease exhibits no symptoms or early-warning signs, and it rarely is discovered before it reaches the advanced stages. Karen Collins was diagnosed at stage 3C, nearly at stage four, in July 2011.
The disease is nearly impossible to detect with regular gynecological exams.
“It is one of the most lethal cancers a woman can get,” Karen said. “It has been known for years as a death sentence for women, and most women will die from it within two to three years.
“But, because of the prayers of literally thousands of people and the 10 months of treatment I received at the Mayo Clinic, I am healed and show no signs of the cancer in my body anymore. I am truly blessed by the Lord to be alive and I am very grateful to God for his healing power.”
For precautionary reasons, Karen will continue to visit the Mayo Clinic every three months for the next several years to monitor her body’s progress.
For more information about the golf tournament, or to make a donation to the Mike and Karen Collins Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, visit mcollins.com. There are several sponsorship levels, from platinum ($5,000 donation) to cart ($100 donation).
All proceeds from the tournament will be donated to Ovarian Cancer Research. Locally, it will support the Helene Distefano Fund in Chattanooga, which helps moms with cancer.