Pair honors survivors

Published 8:55 pm Saturday, April 25, 2015

Judy Stone first got involved in Relay For Life when she was fighting ovarian cancer.

She and the other women who went through chemotherapy together started participating in the American Cancer Society fundraiser together in Virginia Beach, then in Norfolk. Stone had previously participated in Newport News, also, because she was teaching there.

Then she decided to participate in Suffolk, since she lives here. She decided she could best help by organizing the survivor reception.

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“I knew how I felt when I walked that survivor walk and had people treat me to a dinner and to gifts and just to be honored,” Stone said. “I thought, ‘I need to do it for others too.’”

Others tried to get her to step down since she is a survivor herself, but she refused.

“I’m going to step back and not be honored as a survivor,” Stone said. “I want to help them be honored. It’s my turn to help out.”

With her friend Lucille Spivey, Stone plans the menu for the dinner and also organizes decorations, prizes, gift bags, T-shirts and more.

“This whole thing is in honor of our survivors,” Spivey said. “We have a relaxation station for them where they can get a free massage.”

A chicken dinner, catered this year by Norfolk Grille, will be waiting on the survivors when they finish the survivors’ lap. The survivors also get free raffle tickets to get baskets of goodies prepared and donated by each team.

Bottled water has been donated by various grocery stores so the survivors can have water while they’re walking, and various businesses have donated other goodies for bags for each of the survivors.

The fight against cancer is personal for Spivey as well — her husband died of it nine years ago.

“We’ve been doing it ever since,” she said. “Everyone is touched by cancer. It may not be that you have it, but a friend or family member or just some loved one, you’re going to be touched by cancer.”

Spivey said she hopes her children and grandchildren will never have to suffer like her husband did.

“I’d like to see an end to it, hopefully before my children or grandchildren would ever face the problem of getting cancer,” she said.

The relay will take place at Bennetts Creek Park, 3000 Bennetts Creek Park Road, starting with the survivors’ lap at 4 p.m. on May 16. It lasts until 4 a.m. on May 17. Get more information at