USD 470 Superintendent Ron Ballard recently received some good news after being treated for cancer.
His six-month examination and scans show that he remains free of cancer.
“I feel good and have my energy back,” he said. “I was given a clean bill of health.”
Ballard was diagnosed late last year with a cancerous lesion on his tongue, which was detected through a routine dental examination.
“They noticed a suspicious spot on my tongue,” he said. “I had just been writing off the spot to the fact that I had a chipped tooth.”
After surgery and two months of radiation, the cancer was removed and treated.
Ballard, 62, said the chance the cancer could return is 50 percent. So he has an exam every 90 days.
The radiation zapped his energy, but he said he recovered quickly.
“I’ve milked it as long as I can,” he joked. “My wife tells me to mow the lawn now.”
His voice still is raspy from the radiation, but he said he feels good and is ready for the new school year, which starts Aug. 21.
The experience has turned him into a crusader for dental exams, he said. That checkup might have saved his life.
“I’ve been very open to people about what happened,” he said. “If you haven’t had a dental exam, in the last year, get your rear end in there.”