Survivors march at Upshur Relay

The Inter-Mountain photo by Amanda Hayes From left, cancer survivors Don Henderson, Linda Ogden, Loretta Williams, Elma White, Stacie Marsh and Daniel Marsh prepare to lead off the survivors lap at the Upshur County Relay for Life Saturday. See more photos on page A6.

BUCKHANNON — After losing her mother to cancer, Linda Wolfe has had mammograms for years. She joined Upshur County Year for Life, served on the committee, even chaired the event.

But after a mammogram on Dec. 27, 2018 and a follow-up biopsy, Wolfe learned she had cancer in January 2019, specifically lobular carcinoma.

“There’s an extreme lot of emotions that go through your head,” she said during Saturday’s Upshur County Relay for Life. “I’ve had regular mammograms done for years. My mother passed away 40-some years ago. Mammograms were a regular thing for me.”

The type of breast cancer Wolfe was diagnosed with is more difficult to detect.

“It’s not a cancer that forms as a lump in your breast,” she said. “It’s a hardening or thickening of the tissues. A lot of times, it’s a very, very hard thing to see on a mammogram.”

Wolfe said the person who read her mammogram and spotted the cancer was an angel because she caught the cancer.

Now, after undergoing chemotherapy and a mastectomy, Wolfe said she is cancer free.

“I’m not speaking about my cancer as much as I am praising the Lord for who he is,” she said. “When I found out I had cancer, I went to my church family. They prayed, they prayed and they prayed some more. Everyone that knew me, they prayed. It is a privilege for me to say that God answers prayers and that he hears our prayers.”

Wolfe did not have to undergo radiation.

“I had 14 lymph nodes removed,” she said. “No cancer in my lymph nodes. I had a scan done on my body. No cancer in my body.

“I am cancer free,” she said. “I am completely cancer free and I give all that praise and glory to my God and savior. He is number one.”

Committee member Gloria Shaffer shared a little about her caregiver role with her first husband and with her brothers who ultimately lost their fight with cancer.

Still, Shaffer said she was glad to have been able to be there with them on their cancer journeys.

“It was the most rewarding blessing to be there standing by them when they took their last breaths and when they were fighting,” she said.

The 22nd annual Upshur County Relay for Life brought together survivors, caregivers and community members who joined together to celebrate and fight back against cancer.

By the end of the night, over $38,000 had been raised but more money is expected to come in and the final total will be announced at wrap-up on Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. in the Way of Holiness Church fellowship hall.

Senior community manager Michael Alkire said, “Thank you to all of you wearing the purple shirts tonight,” he said. “This is why we do Relay every year. I want to thank the survivors for being here today.”

This year’s event was chaired by Lori Harris and Daisy Hunt.

Also during the ceremony, a special presentation was made on behalf of Alvin E. Hall who donated his estate to the American Cancer Society.

Rose Neely accepted the plaque on behalf of Hall.

“Since my dad died of cancer and his wife died of cancer, we decided the best thing to do was to take his estate and sell it and the money is being turned over to the American Cancer Society to help the ones who are still here,” she said.

To learn more or to make a donation to Upshur County Relay for Life, visit www.relayforlife.org/upshurwv.