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Steele County Times - Staff Photo -
Medford volleyball players surround Theresa Whetmore shown with the green shirt in the center during Thursday’s match. Whetmore has been battling bile duct cancer since January. Photo courtesy of Skye DeVoe
Medford rallies around Whetmore
Johnnie Phillips, Sports Editor

The Medford Tigers held their annual Tigers vs. Cancer night last Friday and honored long-time community member Theresa Whetmore as she continues her battle with cholangiocarcinoma – or bile duct cancer.

Tigers fans arrived at Medford sporting events dawning green throughout the week and showed their support for Whetmore by purchasing apparel to raise funds to help with treatment costs.

“Medford is a wonderful town. Everybody does come together and it's amazing the things that people are doing. I’m very surprised and honored,” said Whetmore.

Whetmore has been a Medford community member since 1976 and is well known around town for her work running an at-home daycare for kids.

“I wanted to stay home with my own kids,” said Whetmore with a chuckle. “What started out as a love for helping out with kids became a pretty good business.”

Since arriving in 1976, Whetmore has been a fan and supporter of Medford athletics.

Her son, Zach, recently played for the Tigers football team until he graduated in 2020.

However, more recently, Whetmore has had to shift her focus to a new venture: cancer treatment.

Diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma in January, Whetmore was originally told by doctors that they were uncertain if her diagnosis would be operable, but that would soon change.

“The doctors at Rochester Mayo came up with a plan. I had a pretty successful surgery and chemotherapy, and the size of the tumor has shrunk a decent amount.”

Though not fully in remission, Whetmore said she feels much better and that the treatment has given her more hope that the cancer will one day be gone for good.

“I’ve learned to try and stay positive. When I was in the hospital I was surrounded by the best doctors in the country, and I thought, ‘If they suggest I try something, then I just have to do it.’ And that’s what I’ve done.”

Whetmore’s positive outlook and willingness to try the methods recommended by her doctors has shown her determination to beat the cancer – and her efforts have not gone unnoticed both at home and in the community.

“She has endured so much in a relatively short period of time and yet we have heard zero complaints from her,” said Whetmore’s daughter-in-law Christina. “She just seems to take it all in, trust the strategy of all of the medical professionals involved and accept the plan. She continues to gain strength and improve each day.”

Those looking to show support for Whetmore can purchase apparel to help raise funds for treatments at

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