When Rue Duval, 65, was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer again in 2014, the emotional pain accompanying the reoccurrence was overwhelming. But Duval didn’t want to burden others with her illness, so she didn’t tell anyone about her radiation treatments or when she started chemotherapy.
“How I dreaded chemo,” Rue recalls. “The day the port was put in I cried and hid from everyone the entire day.”
Rue attends Ash Grove (Missouri) Assembly of God, a robust church pastored by Brent Anderson with a weekly attendance of 250 in a community of 1,400. Youth Pastor Amanda Starks says Rue is deeply loved by the church, especially the youth, as many consider her a surrogate grandmother.
Rue managed to keep her closely guarded secret for months, but then the chemotherapy began taking its toll. Finally she confessed her illness to a friend, who reprimanded her because her silence kept people from lifting her up in prayer…”