Cancer patient, wife say they don't wear costumes to get candy -- but to raise spirits

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News talked to a local couple who lost their previous spouses to cancer. Now, they are facing a new diagnosis.

When Channel 2 anchor Lori Wilson met with Richard and Stacy Van Wey at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tuesday, they were wearing costumes – but not because they were hoping for candy.

"We've been Fred and Wilma, The Mad Hatter and Alice, Mary Poppins and Burt the Chimney Sweep," Richard Van Wey said.

Instead, they're hoping to take some of the fear out of a cancer diagnosis for Richard and others.

"I'm here for chemo," Richard said. "And this is how I do chemo."


Richard Van Wey served in the Air Force doing special ops for 22 years, then worked as a contractor for the Air Force 10 years more. He knows about facing an enemy.

"It's just a different type of battle. This is a terrorist in the body," Richard said.

Richard has stage four colon cancer. It's metastasized to his liver. But every time he and his wife go to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan, they are in character. And they have become quite the celebrities, especially after dressing as Sonny and Cher.

They don't go door-to-door, instead, patient-to-patient, even checking on staff.

"It's all about having a good time and taking away that stress and fear," Richard said.

Richard has decided he's going to beat the cancer.

"We say that I would be perfectly healthy if it wasn't for cancer. We just kind of laugh at it," Richard said.

He and his wife see dressing up as just what the doctor ordered.

"If you can forget cancer for five minutes," Stacy Van Wey said. "One minute, two minutes. That's two minutes you don't have to think about something that's terrifying."

Richard created a Facebook page called Chemo Caps and Costumes, where he celebrates every day successes.