2018-06-21 / Front Page

Cancer Survivors Share Their Stories At Relay For Life

Last Friday at McConnellsburg High School
By Cassidy Pittman
STAFF WRITER


Barbara Weller Barbara Weller Only a handful of survivors attended the annual Relay For Life survivor dinner last Friday at the Central Fulton School District. Relay For Life organizer Barbara Weller and volunteers from the Fulton County Medical Center welcomed survivors and guests to the dinner, opening the meal with a prayer to end cancer. During the dinner, Weller, celebrating her 30th year with the American Cancer Society, agreed to share her cancer story, along with five others.

Barbara Weller

Weller was diagnosed in 2007 with thyroid cancer at the age of 54 and was declared cancer-free after her thyroid was removed later that year. Then in 2013, she had to undergo a lumpectomy at age 60. A lumpectomy is a surgical removal of a discrete portion or lump of breast, usually in the treatment of a malignant tumor or breast cancer. After the successful procedure, she was declared cancer free again.

Words of advice: “Please! Have your mammograms. They’re important.”


Ruth Reeder Ruth Reeder Ruth Reeder

Reeder, 81, had a mastectomy in 1979, and a lumpectomy in 2012.

Words of advice: “Make sure you get to the doctor as soon as you suspect something.”

Kathy Kendall

Kendall was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 at the age of 48. She went into remission in 2000 after 40 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy.

Words of advice: “Bust cancer’s butt!”

Cheryl Stinson

Stinson was diagnosed at age 40 with breast cancer in 1998. Now a 20-year survivor, Stinson had a recurrence in 2001.

Words of advice: “Having more birthdays is always a good thing.”

Dorris Ferry

Ferry was diagnosed in 1985 with ovarian cancer at age 60. After undergoing six treatments of chemo later that year, Ferry has been in remission ever since.


Kathy Kendall Kathy Kendall Words of advice: “I put in God’s hands, and I got a lot better. That’s what he does.”

Verna Petty-John

Petty-John was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2014 at the age of 73. Her treatment included chemotherapy that lasted more than 16 weeks. She went into remission only a few days before Christmas that year.

Words of advice: “Just don’t accept it. Keep fighting it.”

After sharing a meal provided by the Fulton County Medical Center, the survivors were given a cupcake and lit a candle to celebrate another year of birthdays.

The Relay For Life fundraiser began in May of 1985, when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, decided to find a new way of funding his local American Cancer Society office. Using his passion for marathons, Dr. Klatt created a movement that has spilled into 5,200 communities and 20 countries. His fundraiser has helped raise millions of dollars for the American Cancer Society, which is dedicated to funding groundbreaking cancer research, critical patient care services, education and prevention initiatives, and much more.



Cheryl Stinson Cheryl Stinson

Dorris Ferry Dorris Ferry

Verna Petty-John Verna Petty-John

Local Girl Scouts prepare luminarias to honor loved ones lost to cancer at this year’s annual Relay For Life event. Pictured, left: Girl Scout Troop leader Kate Carbaugh, Jersey Knepper, Marin Carbaugh, Reagan Schwartz, and fellow Girl Scout Troop leader Diane Cutchall. Local Girl Scouts prepare luminarias to honor loved ones lost to cancer at this year’s annual Relay For Life event. Pictured, left: Girl Scout Troop leader Kate Carbaugh, Jersey Knepper, Marin Carbaugh, Reagan Schwartz, and fellow Girl Scout Troop leader Diane Cutchall.

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