ELKINS - Hundreds will gather in Elkins Town Square today for the 2014 Randolph County Relay for Life, raising funds and awareness of cancer, as well as celebrating the triumphs of cancer survivors.
But the fight for a cure isn't limited to Relay day. Elkins resident Glenda Schoonover Matthew was selected as the June "fan of the month" by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network's Facebook site.
"This is the first time they have selected a West Virginia resident," Matthew said. "I am thrilled to be selected."
Matthew is an active cancer advocate and is the advocacy chair for the Randolph County Relay For Life. She attended the last West Virginia Cancer Lobby Day.
In her online bio, Matthew writes, "I lost my brother to cancer and want to see a cure found so no other family has to go through this terrible ordeal. I am a cancer advocate to help those who have fought, are fighting and will fight the battle. I want to help cancer patients and survivors, along with their families, learn to cope with
Matthew said she currently is lobbying for legislation to help raise taxes on cigarettes and to reduce use of tanning beds by those under the age of 18.
"Lobbying is important," Matthew said. "One big win was getting the government to agree that mammograms should be covered by insurance, and allowing a free female check-up each year."
She said as a kid, she helped the American Cancer Society by going door to door asking for donations.
"My mom and I collected $17, and at the time, that was a lot of money," Matthew said. "I really love working with the American Cancer Society, and have been helping with the local Relay For Life since 1985."
Matthew said she helps because of her brother, Bobby John Schoonover.
"He died in 1973," Matthew said. "In one year, he needed more than 300 pints of blood because of complications of cancer."
Matthew said she will continue to do all she can to help with cancer research, the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life.
"Bobby is my inspiration," she said.
Additional information about the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is available of Facebook, where Matthew is featured as Fan of the Month, or online at www.acscan.org.