Greg and Stacey Slaton are active members in the Edmond community. A family of four, this faith-driven unit has vowed not to let adversity pull them under. Even when just a few short weeks ago, Stacey was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic and liver cancer.
It was May 14 when the family received the bad news. Stacey, a self-employed daycare owner, will have to undergo a round of chemotherapy treatments in an effort to combat the disease. This family of 12 years, however, is determined to carry through.
Stacey met Greg 15 years ago after the two were introduced by her ex-boyfriend. They spent the first two years as close friends, a relationship from which love blossomed. Now, they have two beautiful daughters, Alison, age 11, and Ashtyn, 2.
Slaton says she’s been working her home-based daycare business since daughter Ashtyn came along. Throughout the school year, she offers childcare to teachers who are unable to look after their children during school hours. During the summer, she provides field trips and community service projects for school-aged children.
But her commitment to education doesn’t stop there. Years ago, while firstborn Alison attended Angie Debo Elementary School, Slaton was PTO president for two years and even worked there as a special education teacher’s assistant. “I love that school and love the teachers,” she says.
Because of the taxing nature of Slaton’s treatments, she will not be able to work while undergoing chemotherapy. It will be up to Greg, a general manager at Pole Position Raceway in Oklahoma City, to provide for the family.
However, as she begins treatment, they approach this emotional roller coaster with the best possible outlook. “I don’t think it has had time to digest, but we’re positive,” says Slaton. “We feel like God chose me and our family to do something bigger than we realize.”
As their journey progresses, the Slatons continue to learn more about Stacey’s condition. In a recent medical evaluation for which they drove hours from home, doctors concluded that what they had first believed to be stage 4 liver cancer that had spread to the pancreas was, in fact, contained only to her liver.
Since the liver is the body’s largest vital organ, and there is no alternative for its important bodily functions, liver failure can prove problematic, to say the least. Whether or not she remains a stage 4, the most severe form of liver cancer, Slaton’s condition is sure to be challenging to overcome.
Having already undergone surgery to create a port for which her medicine is to be injected, Slaton is soon to begin her bi-weekly, five-hour rounds of chemo. She will be attending Integris Cancer Institute of Oklahoma. They chose this treatment center so that she could remain close to home and her family, carrying on daily activities as much as possible.
If you question them about their unwavering positivity, the Slatons will tell you they consider it their only option. To them, “moping around and feeling sorry for (themselves)” would be the easy way out, and definitely not the message they want to send their daughters. “We have kids and they need their mom and they need their (normal) life,” Slaton says.
Being such loyal Edmond residents, the Slatons have no need to worry about going through any of this alone. As members of LifeChurch, their fellow churchgoers, friends, family and community members are all rallying alongside them. On June 2, a garage sale was held in which personal and donated items were sold to raise money for Stacey’s increasing medical bills. Volunteers wore T-shirts reading “Team Stacey” on the front and “Tellin’ Cancer … Get to Steppin’” on the back.
The garage sale was one of a multitude of fundraising opportunities held in June to support the Slatons including a Silent Auction that offered spa packages, Dallas Cowboy tickets, autographed sports memorabilia and Seaworld tickets. On their Facebook page, “Stacey Slaton Fundraising” well-wishers, friends and family can get up-to-date information regarding upcoming fundraisers and ways to purchase Team Stacey merchandise, such as the T-shirt and bracelets. Stacey’s supporters can also look forward to the upcoming RACE 4 STACE at Lake Hefner on July 14, among a number of other endeavors that are sure to follow.
When viewing the Slaton’s Facebook page, one cannot help but be overcome with the positivity and support of those on Team Stacey. The page is filled with photos of dozens of volunteers at various events, and folks reaching out to help and offer words of encouragement. It is certainly clear that this family is not alone.
And with all of the love and support that Edmond continues to offer them, the Slatons have something they would like to say. “We are so humbled and grateful for all the support. It has been amazing to see what people will do for someone in need. Someone they don’t even know.”
As Stacey moves forward in her road to recovery, the Slatons know they will have their friends and loved ones behind them. “We have an incredible community here. We are truly blessed and truly grateful.”
Those wishing to give monetary donations to the Slatons can contact Bank of Oklahoma, where the Stacey Slaton Fund has been created. Visit the “Stacey Slaton Fundraising” Facebook page or www.slaton.1mobb.com for more information on upcoming fundraising events and how to help.