Rushville Republican

December 12, 2012

S.A.D.D. members hear of tobacco dangers

National speaker comes to RCHS

Frank Denzler
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — Members of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and administrators at Rushville Consolidated High School recently heard from nationally-known speaker Gruen Von Behrens on the dangers of tobacco use and the destruction that smokeless tobacco can cause.

Originally from a small town in central Illinois, Von Behrens has waged an 18-year battle against throat and oral cancer.

Diagnosed while still in high school, the former athlete gave a motivating and inspiring talk to students on why they should refrain from the use of any and all tobacco products.

Von Behrens, now 35 years old, has endured 35 surgeries, countless chemo treatments and many other challenges.

His talk centered not only on his fight, but also on that of family and friends and how all of those lives were changed by the discovery of cancer and the recovery process.

“I went from being somebody looked up to to being somebody looked at. There are lessons learned from everyone by this experience,” Von Behrens said.

As a result of cancer and the treatments to save his life, Von Behrens lost half of his tongue, his lower mandible, all of his teeth and a cheek bone.

He closed his presentation by telling the students that no matter how bad their day is they should be grateful because someone somewhere is having a worse day.

“Who you are on the inside will take you further than what you are every time,” Von Behrens said.

Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106