GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Watching 66-year-old Dorothy Kuhn slowly inch her walker around Greencastle-Antrim High School’s track on Friday for the start of the Greencastle Relay for Life was nothing short of inspirational.
The 18-year breast cancer survivor managed to travel a quarter of a mile on the track at Kaley Field before stopping to take a breather.
“I lost my husband to cancer eight years ago,” Kuhn said. “So anything I can do to help, I want to do.”
With the help of her family’s Just Dreaming 4 a Cure Team, Kuhn dreams of one day stopping cancer in its tracks.
“I’m very proud of my mom, and we just want to be here to support and encourage everyone in their struggle with cancer,” said April Noll of Waynesboro (Pa.).
Kuhn’s grandson, Joshua, 14, even gave up his lawn-mowing money to the cause.
This is the 18th year for the largest relay in the south-central area, said Karen Showalter, event co-chairwoman.
The relay began on Friday at 4 p.m. and will end today at 4 p.m.
Showalter said the theme of this year’s event is “Show Us Your Hope.”
About 67 teams and 1,028 walkers will circle the track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The relay raised $216,000 last year, but this year the goal is $221,000, Showalter said.
“We’re very optimistic we can raise that, and we think we are going to raise $250,000,” she said.
One of the top fundraisers, Bonnie Shepherd of the Bud’s Girls Team of Mercersburg (Pa.), raised $12,100 last year and hopes to surpass that goal this year.
She has walked for 17 years in memory of her beloved son-in-law, Kirk Smith, who lost his battle with leukemia at the age of 34.
“He died when my grandson was 2-years-old. He will be 19 this year and will graduate from high school,” Shepherd said. “I’ll relay until I can’t. I sure hope that one day cancer will be a thing of the past. We will never give up.”
Trudy (Barnes) Woodzell lives in Hot Springs, Va., but her hometown is Greencastle. She and friend, Kim May of Hot Springs, laced up their sneakers for the relay.
They were walking in memory of Woodzell’s mother, Barb Barnes of Greencastle, who lost her battle with kidney cancer five years ago.
“She was amazing. She was the best mom,” Woodzell said. “I made up my mind that I didn’t want my kids to go through what I did.”
Every step on the track matters, she said.
“If we have helped one person, then we have done what we set out to do,” Woodzell said.