UTICA — Bringing a smile to kids’ faces and joy to everyone’s heart in her hometown is all that matters to Christy Ransom during this Christmas season. The one event that she looks forward to each year took place Wednesday — the annual Utica Christmas Walk on Main.
“This is what keeps me going. It’s the one time of the year I get to think of someone else,” said Ransom, who for the fourth straight year was dressed as Frosty the Snowman, greeting the numerous excited youngsters during the Christmas Walk.
Ransom was diagnosed with cancer in October 2010, just a few weeks prior to the Christmas Walk. She then had a tumor removed Nov. 23 and lymph nodes removed Dec. 6, two days before she was to perform her annual duties as Frosty. “It was hard,” said Ransom after struggling through a painful evening in her Frosty costume. “I would walk down the street and literally be in tears ... but I kept right on going.”
It’s a fun, hometown atmosphere each year for the Utica Christmas Walk on Main as residents come out and enjoy an evening of holiday festivities. A parade down Main Street kicked off the event with Santa Claus and Frosty leading the way. Numerous businesses opened their doors offering hot beverages and refreshments. Musical entertainment is enjoyed at various locations including an ensemble from the high school concert band. Santa Claus listened to the children’s Christmas wishes. And new this year were free photos with Santa courtesy of Mystic Snow Photography. Children also brought in letters to Santa and can expect a reply back from him.
The 2010 Christmas Walk began with a special ceremony when Christy Myers was married to Jack Ransom in an outdoor ceremony. With Jack dressed as a chimney sweep and Christy as Frosty the Snowman, Christy made a lifetime vow to her new husband as well as a vow to herself to continue being Frosty each year at the Christmas Walk. “This means the world to me. It gives me hope,” said Ransom. “It brings together a close-knit community one time a year when we can put our differences aside and have a good time.”
As soon as her doctor told her she had cancer, her first thought was about the Christmas Walk. “They had told me I might not be able to do this,” said Ransom. “But this means too much. This is my life. It gives me the chance to share with others, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Ransom has now had four surgeries for her cancer and is expecting another update of her progress on Dec. 27. “Right now my markers are where they should be,” said Ransom, adding that she is already classified as a “cancer survivor.” She is looking toward the goals of two years without a recurrence as well as the five-year mark where she would be considered “cancer free.” “I have my good days and bad days,” she said, explaining that doctors currently give her a 20 percent chance of having a recurrence of cancer.
“I don’t see past today, because I don’t know what tomorrow holds,” said Ransom. “I just take each day and live life to the fullest.” She gives a lot of credit to Martha Wilson, Diane Benson and Scott Gilbreath for organizing the Christmas Walk each year. “I think it’s an awesome thing they do,” said Ransom. “They have brought people together and have given me a chance to give something back to this community.”
All of Ransom’s efforts come from the goodness of her heart. Knowing that she does not get paid and expects nothing in return, “I just reap the rewards,” she said. “This is all I want to do. I may have cancer, and I might hurt. But you will see me dance down that street.”
Although it has been a tough year, Ransom remains positive, despite the fact that there is a history of cancer in her family. “I’ve made it one year,” she said. “I’m still fighting, and I won’t give up.”