Blog: Plucky pickler tells cancer ‘no’

David Burd,

WASHINGTON – I’m a food moocher. When I work weekend mornings at WTOP I always wander downstairs to our sister station, WFED, where a cooking show called Foodie and the Beast is hosted. That’s how I met Sarah Gordon.

Sarah was there to promote her pickle company: Gordy’s Pickle Jar.

We were introduced and she let me try some of her pickles — the hot spears were my favorite – and she even gave me a jar of sweet pickles.

I began thinking to myself, “There’s a story here.”

But it wasn’t until I spoke with the show’s host Nycci Nellis that I heard the most impressive tidbit about Sarah — and it wasn’t her pickles.

When she was 21-years-old, Sarah was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, one that only 1 percent ever gets diagnosed with: soft tissue sarcoma. This sarcoma was located on Sarah’s buttock and required surgery and chemotherapy.

How could someone who’d been through something so dramatic be so outgoing and happy? I found out how.

Doctors told Sarah, a marathon runner, she would never run again.

Sarah didn’t buy it. She didn’t want anyone to tell her what she could or couldn’t do. And now, at age 30, she’s doing fine – and running.

The point about Sarah that so impressed me was this: When she got the news about her cancer from her mother, she didn’t panic. She didn’t feel sorry for herself.

Instead, the cancer diagnosis gave her a mission. A mission to get better and to get on with her life – cancer wouldn’t be her final story. She had a lot of living to do. After nine months of therapies, Sarah is now cancer-free.

Here is what Sarah told me was the big lesson was from this experience: “You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it and don’t let anyone tell you (that) you can’t do something.”

The second, and most impressive part of Sarah’s story is that without any prior knowledge or experience, she decided to start a pickle business. She launched Gordon’s Pickle Jar last year. Of course, this was after some serious research into pickles. I’ve had some of her pickles and can testify that Sarah has her Pickle Ph.D. They were delicious. I loved the hot-spear pickles.

If there is a lesson to be learned from Sarah’s story it is this: If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, do not despair. Do not lose hope. Fight, fight, fight — and don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. Sometimes the mind is stronger than the body. If you want to do something — do it. If you don’t know how to do it, do some research and get the job done.

That’s what Sarah Gordon did and she’s done it very well.

You just go girl and pass the pickles!

You can order some of Sarah’s pickles by going to Gordy’s Pickle

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved)

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