“Why I Relay…”

“I relay for two reasons. About two years ago my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The cancer spread, and he had to go through chemotherapy. I have seen him lose a lot of strength, but he still remains positive. Every six months he goes to make sure the cancer has not resurfaced. The other reason I relay is for my mother, who had four cancerous moles removed from different areas of her body. I am proud to say she has been doing well and has to get checkups every two months. These are the reasons why I relay, why do you?”

– sophomore Joe DeStefano, team recruitment committee member.

“As a little girl I never questioned the fact that my ‘Gramma’s’ voice was different, and by different I mean strange and quite frightening to a small child. As I grew up, I learned that she had been diagnosed with pharyngeal cancer while in her 30’s and had her voice box removed in order to save her life. This forced her to communicate through other means. She was given seven years to live following her surgery but defied the odds and lived to be in her 80’s. I am so thankful for this because it meant that I would have the pleasure of meeting an incredible woman whom I admire and love. Although we still had a wonderful relationship, there were many times that I struggled to understand the words she said when I was a little girl. Cancer stole her voice, but she never gave up. I have always considered her my hero. I relay in honor of her spirit and her courage that reminds me everyday what it means to be a strong person.”

-sophomore Megan Kummerlowe, Relay for Life co-chair.

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