Valley Woman Diagnosed With Rare Cancer

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

Sarah Elizabeth Pharis is going to die.

She has one of the rarest cancers in the world.

It's called Ocular Melanoma, and only 6 people per million are diagnosed every year.

"The eye can be treated and it never spreads and they live a long happy life. Some people are very unlucky and it spreads to the liver. Most people when it spreads to the liver it's very aggressive and fast moving and it's really a matter of months," said Sarah Elizabeth Pharis.

Two years ago Pharis got the news that her cancer moved to her liver, but she isn't going out without a fight.

Saturday morning, at the young age of 32, Pharis crossed a lifelong dream off her bucket list.

"It didn't start off as a bucket list. It started off as 35 things to do before I turn 35. I tried to pick things that i either said I always wanted to do or things that i thought would be really terrifying. And this was both of those things," said Pharis.

"This kind of list that she created is a reflection of her spirit, you know, and it tells me everyday about, what it tells me about her is that she really wants to enjoy life and nothing stops her," said Ingrid Desanctis, Pharis' friend.

"Well, I mean, you have two choices. You can go wallow in self pity until your fingers get all nice and pruney or you can have fun. And I want is to have fun," said Pharis.

Sarah Elizabeth Pharis is going to die, but, she says, so is everyone else one day.

"It's just a fact, you know, we all die. And I'm fond of saying, you can either face it like a coward or you can face it like a king. Or in my case, a princess," said Pharis.

A play based on Pharis' writings about dealing with her struggles with cancer will debut at Ntelos theater in Staunton on April 26th.

It's called 'Sarah and the Dinosaur.'


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