Survivors put up good fight

Published 9:15 pm Thursday, May 3, 2018

If anybody knows the importance of better research of prevention and treatment for cancer and better support for cancer patients, it’s cancer survivors themselves.

They are the ones who have been through it all: the doctor visits; the needles; the surgeries; the radiation; the chemotherapy; the side effects; the financial struggles; the sleepless nights; the tearful conversations. They’ve seen it all, and many of them will tell you that although they wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy, they are glad they had great friends, family and community to help them get through it.

So it makes sense that the individual fundraising leader for Relay for Life, with two weeks to go before the big event, is a cancer survivor herself. Not only that, but she has a team full of great friends and family.

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Cheryl Stephenson had raised $1,015 as of earlier this week. Her team, the Wise Cracks, was the third highest team with $3,001 raised.

Stephenson was diagnosed in December 2016 with colon cancer, and last year she was “deemed somewhat cancer free.” She has participated in Relay for Life ever since she saw a bake sale benefiting Relay when she was at a chemotherapy appointment.

All nine members of her team have sent out letters asking for donations, and that has brought in a good amount of money for all of the team members. They’re also doing fundraisers including a raffle and a paint night, and they will have a “Lucky Duck” fundraiser at Relay.

The team members are Christie Worrell, Cathy Larkin, Sherri Stephenson, Eva Marshall, Cynthia Waddington, Brandon Waddington, Michael Hamilton and Aubrey Grace Stephenson in addition to Cheryl Stephenson.

We think this “wise-cracking” team, and in fact all of the teams participating in this year’s Relay, are doing a great job. We can’t wait for the main event.

Relay for Life will take place beginning at 6 p.m. May 18 at Nansemond River High School. Visit relayforlife.org/suffolkva for more information.