NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 6, 2012

Local woman is YH's town crier

NEWBURYPORT — Pamela Rankin is the Yankee Homecoming 2012 town crier.

When told she was the only candidate for the position, rather than bowing out, she took on the challenge, never thinking about not doing it. Her reasoning? She loves Newburyport, having moved here in 1971 and raised her son, Mark, here, commuting daily into Boston to her job at Goodwin Proctor, returning every evening to her home near the waterfront.

Every August she looks forward to participating in the Yankee Homecoming events, particularly watching the parade. This year, she wants to do more. She wants to walk in the parade with her grandchildren and give back to the city and the people she loves, who loved her through some of her darkest days.

Most importantly, Rankin welcomes the chance to support the Jimmy Fund, which receives all the donations collected during the parade. Providing funds for cancer research has a deep and very personal place in her world. In 2003, her son, Mark, lost his battle with melanoma. She found a way through her grief with the support of her partner, Tom Merluzzi, friends, family and the local community. Then, in 2006, Tom died suddenly.

Still reeling from these losses, she received more devastating news in 2007, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following surgery and treatment, she is now in her fifth year of remission, still praising the care she received locally at Anna Jaques Hospital and at Mass General. She is vocal about the support she received from those closest to her, including her son, Mark's friends. Fulfilling the saying, "Friends are the family you choose for yourself," one of those friends in particular made her welcome as a member of his family. For Craig Pearson, his wife Kathleen, and their children, Evelyn and Kyle, "Grammy Pammy" is an integral part of their daily lives, attending school events and family functions.

Rankin's losses and experiences make it easy to understand her determination to support the battle against cancer, and her desire to help raise funds to support cancer research in the race for a cure. !

Rankin can be reached at towncrierpam@yahoo.com.

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