Russell Wooten

Russell Wooten


Oakdale, WI


Russell is an assistant pastor whose family has been plagued by cancer throughout his life. Russell's grandson was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 10, and after several treatments and a surgery removing a five-pound tumor, he is cancer free. Tragically, Russell's mother was not as fortunate when she lost her battle with liver cancer. Russell's wife lost her sister at 18 and not long after lost her father and uncle to Leukemia. Russell and his family have been affected by cancer throughout their lives, yet remain positive and optimistic about the future.

Expect the Unexpected

It just hits a spot. Our family has had vast experience with the dreaded disease… I hear the word cancer and I cringe. Every time we’ve been hit with one of these things it’s been out of the blue. I’ve been an EMT ... and I’ve been at the scene of many fatal accidents. I don’t know how many people expected someone in their life to leave that morning and never come back.

One of my odd jobs is working private security. I’ve never ever had anybody hit me that hard. It brought me to my knees, finding out my grandson had cancer. It’s a fear that you can’t describe. I’ve been in places that I’ve been scared, but the fear that hits you when you hear that word, in conjunction with a loved one… unless you’ve been there, you don’t know what it is. It just stops you in your tracks.

I never leave home without telling my wife I love her. I never part from her without giving her a kiss. Anything could happen. Love the people you have today. You don’t know what’s coming tomorrow.

Importance of Research

It brings your life to a stop...there were several ups and downs, there were several times it looked like he was getting better, sometimes he was going downhill, but the end result was great, and it’s only been due to research and a lot of work. I really believe we have the capability in this world today to change it, if we would just put enough effort into it ... to put all the research and information together…I’m so glad to see that things are progressing. That the prognosis isn't as deadly as it used to be. Although it’s still far too deadly, the more research and progress that is made that happy it will make me. I want to see it eradicated. I've seen too much of it, I don’t want to see any more of it, and I want to see something done to change it. I really believe we have the capability in this world today, to change it, if we would just put enough effort into it to change it. I want to see it in my lifetime; I want to see it gone. I just wonder how many people we have lost to cancer that could have made a difference in our world. The more people I can see survive, the greater it is. I’m sure as treatment progresses in the future, more and more will survive.