One Ames woman’s love of dogs has spanned more than 30 years, but recently, a deadly disease has threatened that passion, and the woman’s life.

FIGHTING CANCER: Showing Dogs Is Motivation

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A rural Ames woman’s love of dogs has spanned more than 30 years, but recently, a deadly disease has threatened that passion, and the woman’s life.

Sandy Rolling’s disposition mirrors the gentleness of the golden retrievers she’s grown to love and shown in several dog shows.

Now, running around the ring, showing her dogs is no longer an option.

Rolling was diagnosed in 2001 with lung cancer.

“I was cleared after four years, and then, this last year, I had a pinch in my hip. I thought I just twisted it, but my cancer had just metastasized to my hip,” Rolling said.

The disease and surgery took most of the mobility from Rolling’s right food. Chemotherapy took all of her hair, but it’s growing back, as is her will to compete and show her dogs in the ring.

“It keeps you going. It’s a goal – to get back. This is where my family away from my family is, and all my friends are here and they’re great,” Rolling said.

Those who know Rolling say she’s an inspiration. “Maybe she has a disease that’s bad, but she teaches us all how to live,” one friend said.

Rolling says a PET Scan has shown a reoccurrence of cancer in four places. She is set to undergo more chemotherapy.

Rolling’s friends continue to volunteer to groom and run with Rolling’s dogs in the ring until she gets back to full health.