By SHAUNNA DUNDER HERSHBERGER
Times Leader Lifestyles Editor
Last month, The Times Leader, in conjunction with the Belmont County Relay for Life, began running a monthly feature called "Survivor Spotlight." The goal of this feature is to share stories of survivorship, courage and hope of cancer survivors in the local area.
Cancer touches everyone - whether it be through a family member or friend, or if you suffer from the disease yourself. Chances are good that everyone knows at least one person with cancer. Since the disease is so far-reaching, sharing positive stories of the triumphs and courage of those fighting the disease became crucial.
Chelsea Edwards, the Belmont County representative for the American Cancer Society, who works extensively on the Belmont County Relay for Life, said, "We hear so many inspiring survivor stories throughout the year as we plan our Relay For Life event, and we are honored to work with these strong, courageous people.
"We are excited to be able to spotlight some of those people and recognize them for all they do in the fight against cancer and for being our reason to Relay!"
"We are excited and proud about our new 'Survivor Spotlight' series. It brings to the readers' eyes the many courageous and passionate battles being waged against cancer right here in the Ohio Valley," Times Leader Managing Editor Robert Kapral said. "We hope the monthly feature will also generate support for the many fund-raising activities, including Relays for Life, that aid in the fight against cancer."
Each month, the series will highlight a specific cancer (or cancers) awareness. Last month's survivor battled cervical cancer, as January was cervical cancer awareness month. Upcoming awareness months include March, colorectal and kidney cancer; April, testicular, esophogeal and head and neck cancer; May, melanoma and skin cancer, brain cancer; and June, national cancer survivor month.
Edwards said the goal is to try to find people with the specific cancers for each month. She added, "But we also want to be sure to share all of our most inspiring stories."
The feature will run in Lifestyles the last Sunday of each month. Be sure to read February's survivor spotlight in tomorrow's edition of The Times Leader.