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Valentine's dinner pays tribute to cancer survivors

February 18, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Deann Routson of Hagerstown signs her name with her hand print in light purple to signify that she is a caregiver for her mother, Doris Rowland of Hagerstown, a cancer survivor. The Washington County Relay For Life welcomed cancer survivors to the Valentine's Survivors Reception Monday at the Western Enterprise fire hall in Hagerstown.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

Boonsboro resident Selena Doyle reflected Monday night on her successful battle against breast cancer.

Doyle said she underwent chemotherapy, radiation and surgery in Baltimore to turn the tide against the disease.

Doyle feels that if she had been diagnosed 10 years ago, cancer research would not have been advanced enough to help her.

“It feels great,” said Doyle, who has been cancer free since last February.

Doyle was one of about 100 cancer survivors and caregivers who attended a Valentine’s survivors dinner sponsored by Relay for Life of Washington County.

The organization holds the event every year to pay tribute to cancer survivors and guests. Monday night’s event, at Western Enterprise Fire Co. on Washington Avenue, included a dinner of fried chicken, ham, scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans and dessert.

Gifts that were to be given away as door prizes filled a long table at the back of the room and cancer survivors were encouraged to make a handprint in a banner that will be carried during this year’s Relay for Life, which raises money for cancer research, according to Carla Charles, spokeswoman for Monday’s dinner.

Guests heard from guest speaker Fern Cunningham of Smithsburg, who is a cancer survivor.

Among the guests was Blanton Croft of Maugansville, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2003.

Croft said his treatment including “seeding,” where 110 rice-sized cancer fighters that emit radiation for 30 days were inserted into his prostate.

“I’m a 10-year cancer survivor,” Croft proclaimed.

Croft said he received his treatment at the local John R. Marsh Cancer Center and the doctors there were “right on top of it.”

Kathy Smith of Hagerstown said she was diagnosed with uterine cancer but is now cancer free.

“Hopefully, it will stay that way,” Smith said.

Ron Clipp of Williamsport said he started volunteering with Relay for Life after his twin brother, Donnie, was diagnosed with bone cancer. Ron Clipp, who along with his brother ran the 7-Eleven store on Salem Avenue for 25 years, said his brother died nearly two years ago, and now he views his work with other Relay for Life volunteers as “a big family.”

Invitations for the dinner are sent out by volunteers who use a contact list based on cancer patients who are assisted through the American Cancer Society, Charles said.

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