Warm support for Wayne
By GABLE RHOADS
Rural communities are known for taking care of their own people. Sheridan County residents came together in a big way to show their love and support for local farmer and lifelong resident Wayne Dockter. Dockter was diagnosed with throat cancer in the fall of 2014.
Family, friends and businesses donated time, money and many items for auction to help with Dockter’s medical expenses.
A benefit dinner of escalloped potatoes and ham with side dishes was offered in addition to a silent auction. There were 196 items available for auction; hay bales, dish towels, movies, toys, pictures, gift certificates, two butcher pigs, and many other items too numerous to list.
Pickups, cars and motorcycles filled the streets for blocks around the McClusky High School. A steady stream of people entered the high school gym to eat, visit with friends and place bids. By the end of the event, over 350 people had added their names to the guest list.
According to Wayne’s long-time girlfriend Roxane Pollak., the first sign something was not right was in February of 2014. Dockter started experiencing chronic dry-mouth. Chronic dry mouth is a symptom of throat cancer, though neither Dockter nor Pollak knew it at the time.
Dockter finally sought medical advice at the local health clinic in September. Pollak said Wayne was suffering from a chronic sore throat and felt as if his tongue was too big for his mouth.
Dockter was referred to a specialist who, after a PET scan, diagnosed the cancer of the tonsils. Dockter started platinum-based chemotherapy soon after. The initial dose was too powerful and had to be reduced said Dockter.
The long term prognosis is good, said Pollak. Throat cancer is highly curable if caught in the early stages as Dockter’s was. Dockter does have a gastrostomy feeding tube, which is expected to be removed later this year.