Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Relay for Life: 'Cancer was a gift to me'

Forest Grove raises $52K during 24-hour event at Neil Armstrong

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE - An illuminated Hope sign served as an emotional backdrop to the traditional luminaria ceremony at the Forest Grove Relay for Life Saturday evening, when participants set out glowing tributes to loved ones lost to cancer.In 2010, Brenda Kintz was diagnosed leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer affecting her body’s soft tissue. After receiving treatment, Kintz, a Forest Grove resident, was recuperating in Astoria when a friend introduced her to Relay For Life.

Kintz joined her friend’s team and announced on Facebook she would walk one mile for every $100 she earned. She ended up earning $1,325 — and although she wasn’t feeling well, she succeeded in walking 13.25 miles that weekend.

She turned out to be the third-highest fundraiser in the county.

Although she’s still battling her illness, Kintz continues to participate in Relay today, and along with 25 other teams, her group — called Fight Like You Mean It! — walked around the track at Neil Armstrong Middle School in Forest Grove July 11 and 12 to raise money and awareness for a cure for all types of cancer.

By Saturday afternoon, the event had raised $51,257 to raise money and awareness for a cure for all types of cancer. By Tuesday morning the total had swelled to $52, 322.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Walking around the track at Neil Armstrong Middle School Saturday morning, cancer survivors kick off the 2015 Relay for Life.

In addition to raising money on their own team pages online, teams were encouraged to sell products at their tents, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society, the organization that hosts Relay for Life.

Many teams sold things like water bottles or candy bars. However, Party Like Wax Peddlers decided to raise money by charging children a small fee to jump inside their large bouncy house in the shape of a castle.

“It’s fun for the kids to have something to enjoy during the event,” said team member Audrea Lotman. "Then their parents can walk the track and not worry about what they’re doing.” NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Don and Willa Worley receive special T-shirts in recognition of their $10,000 donation to this years Relay. The couple pledged to do the same in 2016.

The team decided to charge each child $5 for a bracelet that gave them unlimited day-long access to the bouncy castle. The fundraiser alone garnered approcimately $150.

Aside from raising funds, many cancer survivors said another important goal was creating support for cancer survivors. Kintz believes she’s helped support a lot of people.

“Cancer was a gift to me. It’s allowed me to touch so many people’s lives. I never would have been able to have that sort of impact if I didn’t have cancer myself,” Kintz said.