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December 14, 2012

Christmas concert soloist overcomes Hodgkin’s lymphoma

NORMAN — When Anthony Eversole was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma he had the obvious on his mind: The end of his life. Little did he know his battle with cancer would open up doors otherwise left closed.

Eversole, a local member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was a voice performance masters student at the University of Oklahoma in November 2011 when doctors told him he had an 11-centimeter tumor next to his heart. When his diagnosis was confirmed in December 2011, Eversole, a Utah native, was unsure if he would be able to continue his graduate studies in Norman.

Though Eversole began four cycles of chemotherapy in January, OU agreed to let him stay on as a masters student. Eversole was declared in remission on June 5 and said his journey to remission strengthened his faith in God and his ability to perform musically.

“Vocally, I was all wrapped up in myself. I was not singing in a way I could probably make a professional career. I came here to help with that. But I had such strong vocal chords I could sing through a lot of the things I was doing wrong at the time. When I got sick, and my voice teacher told me it as well, it was both a blessing and a curse,” Eversole said. “I was so weak but I continued my voice lessons. When I did go, we worked on things just from the bottom up because I was just so weak I could hardly sing at all. It was building my voice from scratch basically and we worked gradually, and my voice got stronger and stronger. As I continued to recover, I was building a more secure foundation and undoing a lot of the things I was doing wrong previously. … It’s certainly a different experience now. And I think that that was the Lord helping me find a way to do what I want to do.”

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