2011-05-17 / Front Page

Relay For Life Of Owen County Set For May 21, 22 At The OVHS Track

Many Friends, Family Will Remember, Honor Those Lost To Cancer
Staff Report

Beginning in Tacoma, Washington in 1985 with one man walking around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society, and continuing strong, the Relay For Life of Owen County will be held at the Owen Valley High School track May 21 and 22.

The 24-hour event will kick-off at 9 a.m. Saturday and last until 9 a.m. on Sunday, featuring live music, a car show, rummage sale, a cookout by the Spencer Lions Club and special ceremonies throughout the 24 hours.

Amanda’s Angels is a new team, participating for the first time in 2011 in memory of Amanda Ryan. Team Captain Suzie Fluet of Coal City describes how the friends of Amanda formed a fund raising team in her honor, though they have never met in person.

“Melanie Brown, Mary Baker, Erin Taylor, and myself, all came to know each other through an online support group for women who are struggling with infertility.,” Fluet explained. “One of the women that we came to know and love and built a very strong relationship with finally got pregnant and when she was six months pregnant she found out that she had “end of life” stage cancer and they had to deliver her baby three months early so that she could begin treatments to prolong life. She passed in January after barely meeting her first born son Luke, she only had a couple of weeks with him, that she was able to hold him and love him, most of which were spent in NICU.”

Fluet explained that Amanda had such strong faith and believed God had a reason for calling her home and was thankful she was able to be a mother.

“She was ever so sad to leave her husband, her stepson and baby Luke at the same time,” Fluet said. “She was always so supportive of all of “her girls” on the website and made time for each of us during her struggle.”

Looking for a way to remember her friend, Fluet was given a sign one day while working in Spencer.

“While at work at the Owen County Family YMCA one Saturday I noticed a brochure for Relay for Life hanging on the bulletin board and instantly thought of forming a team with some girls I knew that were from Indiana, in Amanda’s honor. So, I put out a message on the group page and here we are,” she noted. “Our fund raising efforts have mostly been focused on the three ‘F’s’, Facebook, Family, Friends... We have sent out emails, created events for donating, posted almost daily on our walls asking for people to donate. The team has raised over $2,500 to support the mission of the American Cancer Society.”

Though a few new members have been added to the team, Fluet says Melanie, Mary, Erin and herself will tearfully meet for the first time to make a remembrance lap in silence, holding hands for their friend, who they never had the privilege of meeting face-toface.

Anyone interested in walking a lap may register for the event at www.relayforlife.org/owencountyin.

A Cancer Survivors Dinner will be hosted by the Owen County Relay for Life on Thursday, May 19 at the Owen County Republican Headquarters, located on the north side of the Owen County Courthouse square. The dinner will be held from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. and all cancer survivors are invited and encouraged to attend. All care givers may attend at a cost of just $5. For additional information, contact Doug Hendricks at 829-6063.

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