Clark County recognizes man committed to fight against breast cancer

The Clark County Sheriff's Office makes Joe Vanuch an honorary sheriff's deputy for his commitment to the fight against breast cancer. (WDTN Photo/Chris Smith).

CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – A special presentation Friday in Clark County recognized a warrior in the fight against breast cancer, a husband who battles on for his wife, who fought for 12 years.

“It was 2003, my wife came home and had an ouchie under her arm, and we weren’t sure what was going on,” Joe Vanuch said.

In 2003, doctors diagnosed Joe Vanuch’s wife, Jill, with breast cancer.

“My wife decided to go ahead and fight this thing, and until the day she passed, not one time did she complain,” Joe said.

Since Jill was diagnosed, Joe and his family have worked to educate the community. They’ve raised money for breast cancer research and donated it to where Jill received treatment: the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center in Columbus.

“The fight that we fight with my family and all the friends we have is not the fight you want, but it was accepted, and bottom line is that we try to continue to help people,” Joe said.

Friday, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Gene Kelly surprised Joe. They made him an honorary deputy sheriff of Clark County, recognizing him for his dedication to the community in the fight against breast cancer.

“I have a lot of responsibilities, but today is certainly a great day when I can help honor a man and a family and represent all of Clark County,” Kelly said.

They gave him a special pink deputy sheriff’s badge.

“You don’t do what you do to help somebody for anything,” Joe said. “I was Jill’s primary caregiver until the end. That was my life. So it fills me up. Thank you.”

Every year, the Vanuch family organizes the annual “Dance to Save the Ta-tas” fundraiser for more than 500 women. It raises thousands of dollar for breast cancer research. They’re working right now on the next dance this April.

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