Another way Pugh gives back is by leading a support group for ostomates, or people who have an ostomy.
An ostomy refers to the surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes. As a result of Pugh’s colorectal cancer operation, he had to have an ostomy, which is a lifestyle altering procedure.
“I knew there had to be other people in this area who were going through what I was, so I decided to start a support group so we could lean on each other,” he said.
The Ostomy Support Group provides a confidential, educational, caring environment for ostomates and their caregivers.
"We're a small group ... we share experiences and ideas and lifestyle comments," he said. "We have speakers, talk about products and things you can purchase to assist you with your lifestyle."
The group meets the fourth Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the conference room at Anderson Regional Cancer Center. For more information, call (601) 917-6284.
Living life to fullest
Cancer-free, Pugh said he is thankful to all of those who supported him during his journey. During his operation, radiation and chemotherapy, his community of faith at Pachuta United Methodist Church was a big part of his support system, as well as family, friends, physicians and other medical staff members.
"When you have cancer, part of recovery is having a strong community behind you – that involves your family, friends, neighbors and community of faith. I had all of that," Pugh said.
"They were behind me 100 percent. A lot of the things they did for me – prayers, checking on me to see if I needed anything – was instrumental to my recovery."
-- from staff reports