As a fan of Journey I had noticed lead singer Steve Perry had kind of fallen off the map. Today, on a site called Fan Asylum, I learned it's because the most wonderful -- and awful -- thing happened to him last year.

Back in 2011, Steve Perry was hanging out with a friend editing a television special when he fell in love with the smile of one of the women interviewed. It turns out the special was about breast cancer and the woman he was infatuated with was a survivor. Could he have her email?

The friend gave him a funny look. "There's something you should know," she said. The cancer had returned and she was currently in a battle for her life.

Having lost his mother and father as child, and then the grandparents who raised him, he didn't want to invite any more grieving into his life, but he couldn't resist.

Long story short: Perry and the woman, Kellie, were instantly attracted to one another and started dating. He said it was a lifetime of happy moments condensed into 18 months.

But their bliss was punctuated by chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Her health went up and down, and finally worsened to the point she decided to stop the treatment.

She died in December of 2012.

Perry had trouble talking about it publicly until May of this year, and finally announced the story in June. I only found out this week.

By the way, if you see a recent photo of Perry you'll notice funny scars on his face. Skin cancer was detected in his moles. Doctors believe they got it all and he's currently fine.

So many people are affected by breast cancer (all forms of cancer) and have the privilege of sharing their lives with brave victims fighting back. Ladies, get yourselves examined. Everybody else, support research and screening efforts. Please take a moment right now to "LIKE" Tri-Cities Cancer Center's Facebook page so you can stay on top of cancer-related news in our area.

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