Kari Ran­dall Smith

GA Voice - - News / Georgia News -

Ful­ton County Com­mis­sioner Joan Garner re­veals that she is un­der­go­ing treat­ment for breast can­cer.

But Garner, the first openly gay per­son elected to the com­mis­sion, wants to al­lay any fears about her health, say­ing she was given “a very fa­vor­able prog­no­sis with a full re­cov­ery” when the di­ag­no­sis came in two months ago.

By all ac­counts Garner has not missed a beat since then, con­tin­u­ing to work and ful­fill her du­ties on the com­mis­sion.

“I feel that it’s some­thing that re­ally does not change my role at all,” she says. “I plan to at­tend all of my board of com­mis­sion­ers meet­ings, my staff is still 100 per­cent avail­able. I am at­tend­ing some meet­ings by phone. I don’t plan on stop­ping while I’m in treat­ment.”

Her col­league, Ful­ton County Com­mis­sion Chair­man John Eaves, spoke glow­ingly of how Garner has han­dled the sit­u­a­tion, say­ing, “She’s a coura­geous war­rior, if I can use that ter­mi­nol­ogy, in terms of meet­ing head-on the chal­lenges as­so­ci­ated with fight­ing can­cer, but at the same time not re­lin­quish­ing or less­en­ing her pas­sion for the com­mu­nity. It’s a bal­ance that she’s jug­gling but she’s do­ing a great job. She’s tak­ing the bat­tle head-on. She’s clearly not missed a step in terms of her obli­ga­tion and her com­mit­ment to her con­stituents.”

‘This was some­thing that I could not pass up’

Garner (right, with her wife, Ful­ton County State Court Judge Jane Mor­ri­son) came straight from treat­ment to a June 26 mar­riage equal­ity rally. (File photo)

The cou­ple clasped hands as they stood on­stage at the rally, not­ing that since they mar­ried in Mas­sachusetts five years ear­lier, “To­day in the great state of Ge­or­gia we are rec­og­nized as wife and wife.”

Hopes ex­pe­ri­ence helps role as ‘health com­mis­sioner’

Kay Fur­long

New­nan, GA “ENDA for all—in­clud­ing trans­gen­der.”

Lynn Pasqualetti

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