TV show highlights Spicer’s battle with cancer

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By Bryan Marshall

Felicity Spicer’s brave fight against thyroid cancer will be featured in a TV show chronicling the challenges youth across the country have faced.

The 2009 Grant County High School graduate will be highlighted in “The Real Winning Edge.”

“To be profiled on the show means victory,” said Spicer. “I was given a forum to speak. I was asked in the profile what I would want to tell those watching. I would say to make everyday count, because you never know if you will have tomorrow. Who goes throughout their life expecting to have cancer?”

Although the Northern Kentucky area will not be be able to see the Fox series televised, the profile will be at www.realwinningedge.com through Jan. 13.

Spicer was diagnosed with two types of thyroid cancer in 2010.

After surgery removing her thyroid and radiation treatments, she is now in remission after a hard-fought battle.

“I was 18 when I was diagnosed, my life had really just begun then it was put on hold for almost two years as I fought my hardest to live,” Spicer said. “I do not think there is any good in cancer itself, but good lessons can come out of it. I constantly would remind myself that I was no worse off than anyone because no one is promised tomorrow. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, friends you have, where you live, who you are, or how old you are—cancer doesn’t discriminate.”

A life-long singer, Spicer has performed at groundbreaking ceremonies for the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Williamstown, the Grant County Relay For Life and in the Williamstown’s Derby Idol contest, which she won in 2007.

In December 2011, she performed at the Santa’s Wonderland parade in Williamstown, where she was filmed for the TV show.

Spicer was chosen for the show after being selected through an audition to attend the Actors, Models and Talent for Christ (AMTC) SHINE convention during the summer of 2011.

She joined more than 800 other talented people from across the U.S. in hopes of getting a call-back from one or more of the 80 top agents, managers and producers in attendance.

In mid-November, Spicer was contacted by an agent from AMTC by phone and e-mail asking her to fill out forms and a questionnaire for “The Real Winning Edge” show.

A few days later, the executive producer called Spicer to inform her that her story had be chosen for an episode.

“I ran to my mom, nodding my head up and down,” she said. “I got off the phone with the producer and we started screaming with excitement. I think in that moment we realized how huge the opportunity was going to be. Our excitement was first and foremost that I had beat cancer to even have a survival story to tell.”

The producer flew in from Atlanta on Dec. 9 and Spicer taped the show for 12 hours.

The bulk of her personal testimony was filmed at Northern Kentucky University, where Spicer attends classes.

From NKU, they went back to Spicer’s home in Grant County for a catered lunch by Lori’s Cafe that the county had brought on behalf of Tabatha Clemons, county parks and recreation director.

After lunch, the crew filmed at Spicer’s doctor’s office at St. Elizabeth Medical Group in Crittenden where they reenacted scenes she experienced during her fight with cancer.

“I filmed for the (Santa’s Wonderland) parade prior to Dec. 9 and it was a wonderful way for me to honor my county,” Spicer said. “Without the outpour of love, support and especially prayer from this community, my family and I aren’t sure if we would’ve made it through like we did during such a troubled time in our lives. I didn’t want this filming to just be about me. I wanted it to be about those who have helped me persevere and having a spotlight on the community during the parade filming was a positive way to do so.”

During the episode, the Grammy-winning country group Diamond Rio introduces Spicer’s story, although she said she never got to meet the musical stars.

Spicer was sent a copy of the finished program by mail and was side by side with her mother when she watched it for the first time.

“We were blown away by how the message was captured and portrayed so fluid,” she said. “We had no idea what all they were going to include. The only thing we want out of it is for people to be touched and blessed by it, which is the reason for the show.”

As for the future, Spicer said she has plans that will require traveling for summer 2012, but she is not able to disclose details yet.

She was selected in September 2011 as an American Cancer Society Mid-South division “Hero of Hope,” which allows her to travel and share her story with others.

Although she is in remission, Spicer said getting back on her feet still will take time as her body continues to heal.

“It took a lot out of me to film, but I would do it 100 times over just to be able to speak a positive message into people’s lives,” she said.

For more information about Spicer and “The Real Winning Edge,” go to www.realwinningedge.com.