COSHOCTON – Cindy Kaiser is a two time breast cancer survivor and was happy to help celebrate others who have fought cancer at the annual survivors’ dinner.
“Our church (Keene United Methodist Church) has been participating in Relay For Life with a team for more than 20 years and for the last five, we’ve made the food and served at the survivor dinner,” Kaiser said. “We have a lot of survivors in our church and some that have not survived. It seems cancer has touched everyone in our church in one way or another and that is why we walk (at Relay).”
The survivor dinner was held April 11 at Lake Park Pavilion and was for those who have fought cancer and those who helped take care of them during their battle. More than 200 people attended the annual event.
“They’ve fought so hard and this is a way we can celebrate them (cancer survivors) and those who have helped care for them,” Kaiser said.
Tracy Barnhouse, community manager for Relay For Life, said the event has been held in Coshocton for at least 15 years and that cancer survivors do not have to be part of a Relay team to come enjoy the evening.
In addition to enjoying the meal prepared by members of Keene United Methodist Church, attendees also were treated to music by Chestnut Ridge and a speech by Mike Burr. He coaches varsity boys’ soccer at River View and early in the 2016 season was diagnosed with Melanoma.
“I’m doing good,” he said. “The cancer came back in my lungs and groin and was stage four, but I had immunotherapy and it went away in my lungs and I still have to have surgery on my groin area. I’m still planning on coaching and should be ready for fall.”
Burr added that he was humbled and honored to be asked to speak at the survivors’ dinner.
“Cancer has given me a lot of insight and God has used it to open my eyes to a lot of things,” he said. “It’s really changed how I look at things.”
Burr’s wife is team captain of the Fresno Bible Church Relay For Life team, which will be at the American Cancer Society fundraising event planned for 6 p.m. to noon, Friday and Saturday, May 12-13 at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds.
“We have 32 teams right now and our goal is 40,” Barnhouse said. “We had a few veteran teams that weren’t able to come back this year.”
Anyone interested in starting a team or wanting more information on Coshocton’s Relay For Life, can call Barnhouse at 740-509-0196 or Amber Goddard at 740-610-7149. Goddard is co-chairing Coshocton’s Relay For Life with Mike Farley, Stefanie Bush and Chrisha Collins.