Make A Difference: Mary Thacker - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Make A Difference: Mary Thacker

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BROXTON, GA (WALB) -

A Broxton woman with a passion for bowling inspires those around her with her optimistic attitude. 

Mary Thacker spent 12 years cooking for people at her church, and is always happy to lend a helping hand to those in need; making her a member of "People Who Make A Difference."

The 80-year-old Cancer survivor has been faced personal struggles that would leave many people bitter.

But Mary Thacker has overcome her health challenges and personal losses with a smile and the hopes of being remembered for helping her fellow man. 

These plaques and bowling trophies are just a handful of the recognitions Mrs. Thacker has acquired over the years.

Her passion for bowling started after her 55-th birthday.

And after twenty years of three games a week, she even earned a Guinness Book of World Records title.

"When I was 75, I bowled 76 games in ten hours and six minutes.  And that was at the time, I think, the shortest time anyone had bowled that many games at the age I was," stated Mary Thacker.

She maintained an average of 145 during her marathon of smashing pins. 

And her passion for the lanes helped her battle breast cancer a few years later.

"When my doctor told me when we were first meeting, that attitude is 80-percent of the battle.  And if you can keep a good attitude, as he said, I think that's 80-percent of the battle," said Mary Thacker.

She's now in remission, but has suffered some other close loses as well.

"My son was in a bad motorcycle accident in '04.  Bad, bad.  And then he got better, but he was still an invalid.  And he took his life February, it was a year ago.  He shot himself.  My husband had lung cancer, and he was only down about a week and a half," said Mary Thacker.

But despite all the challenges she's faced, Mrs. Thacker keeps her smile and likes to help others.

"Sometimes it's hard, but I feel like life is for the living and it's what you make of it.  I told my preacher, I said I want to live in a way that you won't have to tell a lie about me at my funeral (laughs)," chuckled Thacker.

She helps out at her church where she brings snacks to kids at school and even welcomes a little girl into her home until her parents get off work.

For 12 years, Ms. Thacker fed about 200 people every week when she cooked for her church's weekly supper service.

And despite recent health related problems with her knees and ongoing cancer treatment, Mrs. Thacker still regularly makes it out to the bowling lanes for a quick game.

She says she's getting ready to celebrate her 81-st birthday and may even make time to head out to the lanes to celebrate. 

If you know someone you'd like to nominate for People Who Make a Difference Segment, send an email to people@walb.com

 

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