Joy Ramey’s story is one of resilience, strength, and what she claims as “God’s relentless faithfulness” to her. Upon her graduation from Grace in 2011, Joy went on to attend Baylor University. During the spring break of her senior year, she was unexpectedly diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which she began treatment for immediately. As a testament to her tenacious spirit, Joy was able to graduate from Baylor as scheduled that spring before finishing treatment in Tyler.
After months of chemo and radiation, Joy waws declared cancer-free, and within the year was offered a job coordinating Special Events at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. While Joy was recovering from her cancer treatment, she decided to pursue a goal of running a 5k, which was scheduled for the exact date of her diagnosis the year before. Over time, her goal transitioned from a 5k to 10k to a half marathon, at which point she decided to officially begin training for the New York City Marathon in the Fall of 2018. “If I can go through what I had to health-wise, I knew that I could push myself to train for a marathon,” she stated.
Joy chose to dedicate this race as a celebration of good health and of the Lord’s faithfulness for healing her, while raising donations along the way for the American Cancer Society. To Joy, running became a reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness and how He restores us when we are weak…making all things new.
In December 2018, the Grace community lost one of its own to cancer, Kristen Moss (’11), who was a classmate of Joy’s. Following Kristen’s passing, Joy desired to honor Kristen’s legacy of passion, godliness, and kindness by running the 2019 Chicago Marathon in honor of her friend’s life and impact. In October 2019, Joy completed her second marathon, through which she raised additional funds for the American Cancer Society. In memory of their friend Kristen, former classmates Abby Gordon (’11) and Kinsey Featherson (’11) cheered Joy on for her special day.
Joy proclaimed, “Going through everything with my health was frightening and a time of uncertainty, but I can honestly say that I am so thankful for my experience and what the Lord taught me through the process. It totally changed my perspective on life, and I can’t imagine where I would be today if I hadn’t gone through this experience.”