Husband helps cancer patient deal with diagnosis

Husband helps cancer patient deal with diagnosis
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - A pink stump sits outside of a Jonesboro home after the woman who lives there recently learned she has breast cancer.

Karla Stark is a teacher in Trumann who lives on Craighead County Road 620.

She said she gave herself a self-examination a few weeks ago and that's when she found a lump.

After a week of doctor's appointments, Stark was told she had a very aggressive form of stage 3 breast cancer.

She said she showed no symptoms, so finding out she had cancer was a shock that left her numb.

Stark said she cried at first but was reassured by God that everything was going to be okay.

"I know God's got this and that ol' devil, tries to stick his nose in my business," Karla Stark said. "He is not welcome and I just tell him to get out in Jesus' name.He does and boy I can feel that girl fight coming out in me."

Karla knew she would not be going through this fight alone.

About a week after first learning of her diagnosis, her husband gave her a gift in the form of a pink stump.

"This is something typical that he would do and I love him with all my heart and he's my rock," Karla said.

The remains of the Bradford Pear Tree in their front yard acts as a symbol of Stark's cancer.

"You know we thought about doing something on the house, maybe the shutters but they're part of the house," Wade Stark said. "This is temporary. What God's going to take us through in this condition is temporary

Wade Stark, Karla's husband, said they plan to cut a piece of the tree off every time Karla goes through chemotherapy.

When she is cured the family will burn the stump until there is nothing left.

Wade said he isn't sure how he came up with the idea but is confident that his wife will beat cancer.

"She inspires me," Wade said. "She inspires me. You know, I don't feel sorry for her. I feel bad and I feel concerned but she inspires me."

Once the tree is gone for good, the Starks will plant a different tree to celebrate Karla's new life cancer free.

"It's gonna be okay," Karla said. "This makes my heart happy, this makes my heart happy."

The family said they plan on leaving signs on the door when Karla may not be feeling well but invite people to come sign the stump as a sign of support for her during her battle with breast cancer.

Tune in to Region 8 news at 10 tonight for more on this story.

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