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Barbour relay feats survival, searches for cure

August 5, 2013
By Melissa Toothman Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

The Barbour County Relay for Life transformed the Barbour County Fairgrounds into "Find a Cureville" on Friday.

It was the theme for this year's relay event. Many survivors, and some guests, wore a hat reminiscent of the famous feline in Dr. Seuss's popular children's book, "The Cat in the Hat." Booths were decorated by theme as well.

For many participants, the Barbour County Relay for Life had carried a special meaning.

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photo by Melissa Toothman
Participants take part in the Barbour County Relay For Life event Friday at the Barbour County Fairgrounds.

"Relay means love, cures, family and, hopefully, (cancer) will be over one day. We'll be relaying for something else," Kim Stemple, the event's chairperson, said.

For some survivors, the event signifies another year of life.

"We are grateful for every year that we come here, because it means we survived another year," Dee Slay of Philippi, a two-time cancer survivor, said.

When asked what the relay event meant to her, Regina Karopchinsky of Moatsville said, "Survival, that's what it means. Survival is what it's all about."

The Barbour County Relay for Life raised more than $65,000 Friday, leaving its own mark in the goal of finding a cure for cancer, or at least in helping those who have been diagnosed.

"One day, I believe there will be a cure," Sandy Sonifrank, who is a 17-year survivor, said. "We are here all in one accord, to raise money to find a cure."

Sonifrank gave the survivor speech, where she expressed her many thanks to God.

"I've been on both sides. I've lost a daughter. I, myself, have had cancer, but God is good," Sonifrank said. "There's so many things in our lives, that we go through, we do not realize we do not have control over. Cancer is one of them."

Surviving the uncontrollable cancer seemed to be a theme that was significant on the minds of many Relay for Life participants.

"My mother is a survivor, and I love her dearly. God bless all the survivors," Regina Karopochinsky "Junior" of Moatsville, who shares her mother's name, said.

Fitting with the Dr. Seuss theme, children even made an impact in the Barbour County Relay for Life goal. A group of five children, competing to be crowned as Mr. or Miss Barbour County Relay for Life, raised a combined $1,000 toward the event's goal. Jacob Burner of Philippi, 2, and Kyleigh Bennett, 9 months, were crowned this year. Other participants were Kerrin Robinson, Alex Shumway and Makayla Gribble.

"One day, I believe there will be a cure," Sandy Sonifrank, who is a 17-year survivor, said. "We are here all in one accord, to raise money to find a cure."

Sonifrank gave the survivor speech, where she expressed her many thanks to God.

"I've been on both sides. I've lost a daughter. I, myself, have had cancer, but God is good," Sonifrank said. "There's so many things in our lives, that we go through, we do not realize we do not have control over. Cancer is one of them."

Surviving the uncontrollable cancer seemed to be a theme that was significant on the minds of many Relay for Life participants.

"My mother is a survivor, and I love her dearly. God bless all the survivors," Regina Karopochinsky "Junior" of Moatsville, who shares her mother's name, said.

Fitting with the Dr. Seuss theme, children even made an impact in the Barbour County Relay for Life goal. A group of five children, competing to be crowned as Mr. or Miss Barbour County Relay for Life, raised a combined $1,000 toward the event's goal. Jacob Burner of Philippi, 2, and Kyleigh Bennett, 9 months, were crowned this year. Other participants were Kerrin Robinson, Alex Shumway and Makayla Gribble.

 
 

 

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