Working toward a cure

Vance Relay for Life raises money for cancer research
Jun. 20, 2014 @ 08:20 PM

The purple and white at Southern Vance High School’s football field meant one thing: a determination to end cancer.

Hundreds came out to show support for Vance County’s Relay for Life event that began Friday.

During the first lap of the survivors walk, Katy Perry’s voice on the stereo rang out: “I am a champion, and you’re going to hear me roar!”

Survivor Ruby Gupton has been attending Relay since 1998 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I’ve had a long journey with visits to the oncologist, and now everything is supposed to be okay now,” she said of the 39 weeks of radiation that sent her cancer into remission.

She still goes to her oncologist for annual visits.

Gupton said she participates in Relay because it is an opportunity to share her story and instill hope in others.

“I want to let others know that just because you have cancer, doesn’t mean it’s the end,” she said. “I want them to know they can still function.”

North Henderson Church, where she is a member, has raised more than $5,000 for Relay.

Alice Harris comes to honor her daughter-in-law Gladys Hicks Daniels.

“She was like my own biological child, so I do it in memory of her,” she said.

Thirty-four teams with more than 500 participants contributed to Vance County’s Relay cause.

The leading individual fundraiser is Tiffany Brodie of the Wal-Mart 6091 team.

She has raised more than $2,400.

The leading team in fundraising is Facebook Friends for a Cure with more than $10,000.

Approximately $69,500 has been raised toward the Vance County goal of $152,000. People have until August to donate to help reach that level. Last year, Vance County raised $155,000.

Julia Falkner received the professional caregiver award, and Donnie Hogge received the caregiver award.

Hogge cared for his wife, who endured two rounds of cancer.

She survived the breast cancer diagnosis, but she died about five years after doctors found a brain tumor.

“A little county like this has contributed a great deal to cancer research,” Hogge said. “That’s what this is all about: research and finding a cure.”

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.