Night well spent

Relay for Life packs a punch for cancer survivors
by Steve Ottman Review Correspondent


THE ANNUAL SHEBOYGAN COUNTY Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society took place Friday, July 18 and Saturday, July 19 at Sheboygan Falls High School. The event featured a speech by cancer survivor Dionne Knop (pictured far right). — Review photo by Steve Ottman THE ANNUAL SHEBOYGAN COUNTY Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society took place Friday, July 18 and Saturday, July 19 at Sheboygan Falls High School. The event featured a speech by cancer survivor Dionne Knop (pictured far right). — Review photo by Steve Ottman SHEBOYGAN FALLS - Honorary cancer survivor Dionne Knop led cancer survivors for a celebratory lap at the start of the 2014 Sheboygan County Relay For Life to benefit the American Cancer Society Friday, July 18, at Zell Field in Sheboygan Falls.

Knop welcomed friends, family, sponsors and cancer survivors to the Relay For Life celebration.

“I feel honored to be here,” said Knop. “Cancer can affect anyone and it had happened to me. I‘m happy to be able to share my story.”

Knop told the cancer survivors in attendance about an aunt she lost to cancer and her family history of cancer heredity. Due to her family background, Knop decided to have her first mammogram.

At 38 years of age, Knop was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer.

The cancer was very aggressive and in less than two months it had grown twice its original size. As a result, surgery was necessary.

“I had no idea what to expect,” Knop explained. “My family was so supportive of me. I’m so thankful for the support and what my whole family went through.”

American Cancer Society chairperson Amanda Quasius stated that over 5,000 communities across America have joined in the fight against cancer.

“Each of us has a unique reason for being here,” remarked Quasius. “Thanks for helping raise money for the cancer cures and research.”

Pete Molitor was honored for lighting the memory luminaries.

During Knop’s fight she deeply appreciated all of the caring letters she received and how interconnected people were. She talked about a polka dotted dress that made her feel good whenever she wore it. It was symbolic when I wore it to celebrate my fight.

“We’re all connected and have fought through our struggles,” Knop recalled. “None of us know how long we have.”

Sheboygan County Relay for Life representative Monica Kleinhans welcomed the Sheboygan North Drumline, which entertained the crowd before survivors took their celebratory victory lap.

Twenty-nine years ago in 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt raised $27,000 for the original Relay For Life as he walked 83 miles.

Knop has led the fight against cancer through successful fundraisers. Her latest fundraiser went to assist Project Angel Hugs.


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