Carlos Showers vows to fight after life-changing diagnosis

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
Black Mountain Alderman Carlos Showers announced, Oct. 14, he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He vowed to continue serving on the board as he undergoes treatment.

A Black Mountain elected official will continue to serve after receiving a life-changing diagnosis.  

Carlos Showers addressed the public in the opening minutes of the board of aldermen’s regular monthly meeting, Oct. 14. 

“I’m back,” said Showers, who was absent from the board’s regular September meeting. “At this time, I’m not sure how long I’ll be back.”

Showers, who has held a seat on the board since he was elected in 2009, shared his recent diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. 

“I started my chemotherapy treatment for that today,” he said. “It’s going to be twice a month, from now until March. Then it will stop and (doctors) will check to see how things look. If it looks good, they’ll discharge me, if not, they’ll start the treatment again.”

He added that he was in a fight for his life.

“I’m going to fight it all the way,” he said. “I ask for your prayers and I thank all of the people who have sent cards, food, prayers and the telephone calls and visits.”

Showers vowed to continue attending regular meetings, agenda meetings and remain in regular contact with fellow board members and town staff. 

“I am not stepping down,” he said. “That’s not going to happen; I’m in it to win it.”

Showers’ impassioned pledge drew a round of applause from the room, which is typically silent during board meetings. 

In an interview from his home, three days after the meeting, Showers said he wanted to share the news of his diagnosis himself. 

“I’d heard some rumors around town that I was on my deathbed, and that kind of stuff,” he said. “That was hard to hear that people were speculating about my health before having the chance to hear anything from me, directly. I just wanted the public to hear what was going on from me.”

Showers added, however, that the vast majority of the community had been supportive, in the wake of the diagnosis. 

“All of the cards that we’ve received are hanging up on the door when you walk into our house,” he said. “We have had a lot of people praying for us and bringing us food and things like that. I have had several people ask if there was anything they could do. I tell them to just pray for us.”

Showers, a native of Mobile, Alabama, is the second African American alderman elected to serve in Black Mountain. A graduate of Mars Hill College (now Mars Hill University), he worked at the Swannanoa Valley Youth Development Center for nearly 30 years before it closed in 2011. 

He launched an unsuccessful bid for alderman in 1995 and mayor in 2005. 

After receiving 423 votes in 2009, Showers was reelected in 2013. In the summer of 2017, he announced he would not seek a third term. He was appointed later that year by the board to fill the seat vacated when Don Collins was elected mayor that November. 

Showers has served as a liaison to the Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce board of directors since his first term. He remains committed to fulfilling his obligations as an elected official and being active in the community.

“I’ve never been a quitter,” he said. “That’s how I feel right now; I’m not going to quit, I still have work to do.”