Monday, 18 June, 2018

Steps taken towards a cure at Austintown Relay for Life

Derry mum of two who lost husband to cancer taking part in Relay for Life to show kids there can be life after the disease RELAY FOR LIFE | News, Sports, Jobs - The Review
Melissa Porter | 03 June, 2018, 23:28

It was her faith and family that turned it around for her. "She's been gone for it's gonna be 23 years in July. I was prepared to fight this battle as soon as it hit me".

"He conquered that, he kicked its but", she said.

"She is in junior infants at Scoil Mhuire in Newbridge and they have been just brilliant".

"She asked me to shave her head".

For Russ, the relay presents an opportunity to reflect on the lives of both Pam and his brother, Roderick "Rod" Pochop, who died of cancer at age 37 in 1994.

The Canadian Cancer Society states survival rates have increased seven per cent since 1993 just from Relay for Life.

"We've been doing this for a long time, probably 20 years", he said.

Founded in 1985 by Dr. Gordon Klatt in Tacoma, Washington, where the event raised $27,000, Relay For Life has raised over $5 billion worldwide.

Many other activities took place during the event and the theme for the day was "Books". "There are so many more to thank", states Patty, "There are so many great, generous people that come together to help support this cause. People already have to struggle enough in life". Attendees honor cancer survivors but remember loved ones lost, and provide participants with an opportunity to fight back against the disease. She passed away February 2017.

The event began with a Survivor and Caregiver Luncheon at 11:30am. "We have lots of different events, lots of good food, all the donations go to the American Cancer Society".

Amy was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2012 aged 29.

The Chatham mom is a four-year breast cancer survivor and she spoke of the determination she had as she battled her illness. She had her thyroid removed and radioactive iodine treatment. "I was 22 years old with a young child". She spent a further 10 days in semi-isolation at home.

"I was radio active, I couldn't even hug or give my son, Danton, a kiss".

"It was pure hell for five months", she recalled.

Despite this, the nail and lash technician is determined to live her life to the full.

She said the cancer society was there when she needed someone to rely on.

As the family has been dealing with cancer for more than 20 years, Russell and his family understand they want to have a life outside of the diagnosis.

Three year's ago, Amy put in her own team called Amy's Angels supported by her family, her mum Cathy and granny Helen.