Honorary cancer survivor fights with positive attitude, sense of humor

Scott Sellman relies on his sense of humor and positive attitude to help him get through all the trials and tribulations of being a cancer survivor.

Scott Sellman is the honorary person for the annual Chisago County Relay for Life event this year, having had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 20-plus years ago in the early 1990’s. 

His survival story is so encouraging, is filled with hope, determination and a great journey with oncology physicians at United Hospital in Minneapolis and Minnesota Oncology. His first symptoms were somewhat vague and confusing for his doctors but eventually the diagnosis was made and he had a year and a half of chemotherapy. It was the answers to his prayers, he has been cancer free and is on no long-term cancer medications.

His wife, Jody, was one of the beginning leaders of the Chisago County Relay for Life and contributed a great deal to their successful history, which they are ever grateful for her effort and time. Scott and Jody developed a fund-raising effort called BUZZ the FUSS, which challenged many police, fire and county sheriff workers to shave their heads and donate money for the cause in honor of Scott. Their Road Runner relay team raised lots of funds to help fight cancer and bring awareness to the community about this terrible disease.

Scott was able to go back to work as a Chisago County Deputy soon after his chemo treatments were over. He continued for many years at the Chisago County Sheriff’s Department until about eight years ago when he started to have the predictable long-term side effects of the chemotherapy with his heart, liver and kidneys. He and his wife knew the risks of the chemotherapy but decided it was worth the effort, which it was, according to Scott.

Eventually, he had a small stroke related to his heart not being able to pump adequate blood to his brain, now has a pace maker and is busy being the Chisago County Emergency Services Director.

When asked for advice about his cancer journey, Scott immediately said, “have a positive attitude, a sense of humor, rely on your support teams, family and prayer.”

Thank you, Scott for all your past and present service to the county and for being an outstanding spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life.

Please come and join Scott and his family and all the others supporting the Luminary Event on Wednesday, Aug. 18 from 6 - 10 p.m. in Center City at the big Lutheran church on the hill. Please park in the lower lot. There will be tacos and root beer floats for supper, so bring the family and be sure to anticipate an unbelievable sight of hundreds of luminary bags lining the steps and retaining walls of the church, which will be lit around dusk at 8 p.m. Luminary bags will be sold for $10 each or a donation.

If you or your family has been touched by cancer in the past year(s), want to form a team, give a donation or make luminary bags for a loved one, contact Jill Behnke at 651-257-1483, jillmbehnke@gmail.com or visit www.relayforlife.org/chisagomn.

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