ACS to host Relay for LifeWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Cancer Society will be holding the Relay for Life on June 11-12 at Maumee High School Stadium.
The 18-hour event will raise money to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and the outlook for those who have yet to be diagnosed. It begins June 11 at 2 p.m. and lasts until June 12 at 8 a.m.
The event will be open to the public for fundraising, food and live entertainment as the relay takes place. So far, 32 teams have registered to compete in the Relay for Life.
“We get a bunch of people to form teams and try to raise money throughout the year, but this is the main event,” Entertainment and Activities Committee Member Don Zellers said. “Each team does fundraisers during the course of the year. The teams of 10 to 15 people each try to have a person on the track for the entire 18 hours and during that time we will have entertainment and a bunch of activities going on for the people.”
Entertainment opportunities include dancing and a cornhole tournament, as well as other children’s entertainment and games including a bouncy house. Live entertainment includes Curtice Markley and East River Drive.
Typically, the American Cancer Society honors about three cancer survivors per year as “Heroes for Hope.” Sue Robinson is one of those honorees this year along with her husband Bob, who is being honored as the second-annual “Honorary Caregiver.” The Robinsons have been involved with the Relay for Life for about 10 years. Other honorees include Santina Delucia and Diane Schult.
The Robinsons had an extremely difficult year in 1994 when their daughter, Teri Sue, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the throat and tongue just one month before Sue was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer.
“It was just a long haul for about eight months,” Bob Robinson said. “They both went through chemotherapy and radiation. For the next eight months after they were diagnosed it was running one or the other to the hospital every day for those treatments.”
After a 25-hour operation, Teri Sue’s condition improved but the cancer came back later in the year and spread to her bones. She passed away 10 days before Christmas in 1994 at just 27 years old.
“She came through the operation really well,” Bob Robinson said. “Everything was going really well until a few months later when we found out the cancer had spread. Eventually Teri, ended up in the hospital and the point came where she was diagnosed terminal. We brought her home and she spent the last couple months with us.”
Meanwhile, Sue continued to go to work through treatments and, as Bob described, “was more concerned about her daughter than herself.” She was deemed cancer-free in early 1995 and has remained so ever since.
As his wife and daughter battled cancer, Bob faced depression and began to see a psychologist to help deal with his situation.
“It was killing me to not know what was going on with both women I love,” Bob Robinson said. “I knew I needed some help so I got it and that was the best thing I ever did.”
Sue joined her husband last year in retirement after remaining at her job for 42 years. They now both travel annually to the Florida Keys to celebrate Sue beating cancer, which they have done for the past 16 years.
“We survived all the stuff that happened to us,” Bob Robinson said. “We still feel pretty blessed that we have a beautiful home and a lot of friends and family. I don’t know how people do it that don’t have faith, friends and family. It’s hard enough of a struggle with that stuff. We had a lot of support and that’s a big deal.”