BY BUDDY NEVINS
Former Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu told a stunned city commission last night that she has colon cancer.
Alu, 50, resigned her post in December to move to Fort Lauderdale and spend more time with her family.
Her message: Get colonoscopies.
“I plan on fighting this with tremendous dignity and courage,” Alu said. “I look at this as maybe I’m suppposed to be the voice to tell people to get a colonoscopy.”
Its time for the medical community to change their recommendations of the age for getting the first colonoscopy from 50 to 40, Alu said.
She said her surgeon told her she probably had cancer since she was 40. If she had gotten a colonoscopy, the cancer could have been stopped early, she was told.
The disease was apparently diagnosed just weeks ago, but she ignored earlier symptoms.
“Take care of yourselves,” she implored the public. “Look at the signs. All these years, I have put myself last and everybody else first.”
Alu told the audience she will be undergoing surgery Friday.
“I’m going to be okay. I know I am,” Alu said, wiping away tears.
Then she catalogued some of the issues she fought for during her decade in office, mentioning her opposition to a hotel between the Everglades and the Sawgrass Expressway and a religious ceremony that included killing animals.
“If you build on the west side of the Sawgrass Expressway, I will come back to haunt you. Do not allow any slaughter of innocent goats, “she said. “(and) I hate red light cameras.”
Finishing, she said to the often combative Sunrise commission:
“Be good to each other…I have absolutely no regrets to anything I’ve done in my entire life… I love you. ”
She speech can be heard here at approximately 3:12 minutes into the meeting.