Johnstown Independent

Relay For Life

Johnstown raises more than $30,000 for cancer research

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Johnstown's Beth Hann, a 10-year cancer survivor, challenges everyone to get involved in the fight to beat cancer.

The 1977 Johnstown High School graduate served as honorary chair of the sixth annual Johnstown Relay For Life, held July 12-13 at the football field behind the school.

Chris Betz co-chaired the event.

Hann said research is the key, and hope must never be lost.

"With the money we raise relaying, answers are in sight," she said.

When her niece, Diana, was diagnosed with breast cancer 23 years ago, she was given an experimental drug development by American Cancer Society-funded researchers.

"Diana lost her battle at age 27, but that same drug, Tamoxifen, was developed into a gold standard of treatment that I received for my cancer some 13 years later," Hann said. "The use of this same drug for me has dramatically reduced my odds for a recurrence."

She said Johnstown needs more and new people to move the event forward.

"At Relay, there is a place for everyone," Hann said.

Andrea Perlman, a local staff partner with the American Cancer Society, said every Relay in Johnstown has been incredible and participation keeps growing.

Twenty-four teams with 270 participants were at last weekend's event. Proceeds still are being tabulated, but $30,576 has been collected thus far.

Top fundraising teams were Pink Crusaders, $9,395; Thirty One's Heart and Sole, $4,471; and Gas On It, $4,389

Top participants are Sandy Kennedy, $1,530; Mindy Jackson, $1,017; and Shari Kennedy, $795.

Johnstown sophomore Anna Hatcher started participated in Relay with Teens Tackling Cancer several years ago.

"My grandma and aunt both died from cancer," she said. "We're an all high school team. We all know someone who has been affected."

Janelle Johannes participated in Relay with Patch's Purple People team. She decorated the back of her Relay shirt to honor her grandmother, Dorothy Price, who died as the result of breast cancer in February.

Centerburg 9-year-old Claralyn Treffert walked at Johnstown's Relay because her mother, Annette, is a breast cancer survivor.

"We heard about this and thought we'd walk here," Claralyn said.

Sunbury residents Bill Mowery and Sharon Jones participated in Johnstown's Relay because he is a one-year prostate cancer survivor.

Mindy Jackson served as co-captain of the Pink Crusaders with Sara Peterman.

"We started the Pink Crusaders for Beth (Hann)," she said. "Each year, it gets bigger and bigger. We do fun activities all year long. We're lucky to have Mary Winn on our team. We sell her famous buckeye (candies)."

Jackson proudly wore a pink cape made by Hann. It displays different colored ribbons, representing different types of cancer.

Hann said the theme for the 2010 Relay was superheroes. Her team already had a superhero-type name, so she decided to make the best cape she could.

"As I was working on it back in 2010, my granddaughter, Ava, was 4 years old at the time," she said. "I explained to her the best I could that different types of cancer had different colored ribbons. Spool after spool of brightly colored ribbon attracted her like a brand-new box of Crayolas.

"As she quietly ran her fingers across each color represented there, she looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, 'Mamaw, when I get my cancer, which color will it be?'

"This, my friends, is why we Relay."

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