"This will change your life," said a co-worker when Brenda Kriz received her cancer diagnosis. She is living proof of those words. Kriz, who lives in Dysart, had felt tired and short of breath for some time before realizing something was wrong. Her family doctor immediately completed testing which disclosed she had a blood disorder. Further testing identified non Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer which is treatable, but not curable.
Kriz will be the Honorary Survivor at the Relay for Life of Tama County on Saturday, June 8, at the South Tama H.S. track. The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Tama County will begin with the Survivor March at 1 p.m. All cancer survivors are invited to walk around the track in celebration of their lives. They are proof of the progress toward the goal of more birthdays for all cancer patients. Any cancer survivor is welcome to join this event. They will receive a survivor t-shirt plus other gifts.
Brenda Kriz says her first thoughts were of her family and how this would affect them when she received her diagnosis. She really was not frightened because she knew she had a support network. She also believes a patient should, "put your trust in the doctors - and God, of course." She followed that route and with "overwhelming" support from family, friends, and co-workers, completed her first chemo treatments in June of 2012. This was just in time to celebrate her son's wedding in July. She attended with no hair, eyebrows, etc., but states with joy, "I was there!"
The biggest change since her diagnosis is her understanding of the value of spending time with those she loves. Her co-workers, who helped in so many ways, held a "chemo party," among other things. Her daughter's softball team at Union High School held a fundraiser last summer which netted over $900 for the American Cancer Society. She knows repayment is impossible so tries to "pay it forward" every day as she meets people in her job as an MRI technician at Covenant Hospital. She also cautions others to be careful of some of the information that can be found on the internet. She receives regular updates from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and suggests using reliable sources like the American Cancer Society website.
The Relay for Life of Tama County offers everyone the opportunity to show their thankfulness for our progress in the fight against cancer. It is held at the South Tama H.S. track where individuals or teams walk with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the day. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event. Any questions about the Tama County Relay can be directed to: Ashley Bolen, Tama/Toledo, 641-484-0204; Marilyn Svoboda, Clutier, 319-479-2732; Karen Symonds, Dysart, 319-476-7762; Luane Lorenzen, Traer, 319-231-0820.
Relay For Life is a unique grassroots fundraising event in which individuals and teams of participants in nearly 5,100 communities nationwide walk around a track to celebrate the lives of those who have faced cancer, remember loved ones lost, and commit to fight back against the disease. The money raised through Relay For Life supports the American Cancer Society's efforts to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, the American Cancer Society fights for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. Lives are saved by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation's largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, the American Cancer Society turns what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about the American Cancer Society or to get help, call anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.