Cancer may have taken a physical jab at area men and women, but they are proving they have the fight to take it on and win.
Area cancer survivors gathered at the Marshalltown High School track Saturday night during the annual Marshall County Relay for Life. Approximately 50 survivors were in attendance, supported by hundreds of people at the event, which raised money for the American Cancer Society for cancer research.
"We survive," said Karen Frohwein of State Center, an honorary survivor at the event along with her sister Karla Moore. "We get up, we do what we do, we go on. That's being a survivor."
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Cancer survivors walk around the track to cheers at the Marshall County Relay for Life Saturday night at Marshalltown High School.
Frohwein served as an inspiration to her fellow survivors after going through two bouts of breast cancer.
"Don't be victims to cancer," she told her fellow survivors. "Fight it. Live your life and don't let cancer decide what you do."
Don Stull, of Marshalltown, was diagnosed with prostate cancer this past March. In the past, he's volunteered to raise money for cancer research and now he has the disease. He appreciated the support of others Saturday.
"It feels good," he said.
Among the speakers at the event was Marshalltown Mayor Gene Beach, who has had family members diagnosed with cancer.
"I do not believe there is a single individual in this world that has not been touched by cancer," Beach said. "It is a dreadful disease and it shouldn't be here on this planet."
Instead of running the event through the night into the wee hours of the morning like in the past, the format was changed this year to have more events during the day. The format of a noon to midnight event with several family-friendly games and activities during the day seemed to work.
"We are very, very pleased at how it turned out," said Jeff Nunn, co-chair of the event along with Tara Ethington. "We plan to continue on that same noon to midnight path in the future."