Greenville farmer faces rare medical diagnosis

Photo by Steve Barnes

GREENVILLE — Becky Johnk, featured in a Times Union article two years ago about the Johnk family farm she runs with her husband, Alex, has been diagnosed with chordoma, a rare type of cancer that only affects one in a million people every year in the United States.

Johnk runs the farm, on Route 81 about 2 miles outside the hamlet of Greenville. It is home to 40 head of cattle and 50 pigs raised for meat and 30 dwarf goats for pets and show animals. The couple, who have a 4-year-old daughter named Rainy, operate a farm stand that sells their beef and pork products as well as local produce including eggs and maple syrup.

Johnk plans to start treatment soon in Boston and will undergo a month of radiation therapy before surgery for the tumor on his tailbone, according to an account on the GoFundMe page created by a friend to offset medical bills and other expenses.

Family and friends pitch in to help with farm work, childcare and transportation, Johnk said in an email, adding, “Just having people come to our farm to shop would be very helpful Retailing cuts at our stand helps so much to keep money circulating for costs and bills.”