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2008 Relay For Life’s Hero of Hope

On June 21, the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life will be held in Kahoka. Serving as the keynote speaker for the evening will be Lori Rupp of Macon, Mo. According to Paula Fox, Clark County Relay Chairman, “Delma Smith (Relay Team Chairman) and I heard Lori in Houston, Texas at the annual American Cancer Society’s Summit and she was very inspirational and upbeat. We were excited that we could get Lori to speak here in Kahoka at our Relay. According to the American Cancer Society’s Heroes of Hope Profile of Courage, “At 35, Lori Rupp was diagnosed with multiple melanoma and had many surgeries to remove multiple sites on her abdomen, neck, face, calf, ankle, thigh, and buttocks.” At the time of her diagnosis, her children were in school and her family was in the process of adopting, after trying numerous times to have another child. “I was truly devastated,” recalls Lori. “I remember my life kind of stopping and trying to get my arms around my diagnosis and what it meant to my family and kids.” “God, my family, and friends were my greatest sources of strength after my diagnosis and during my multiple surgical procedures,” said Lori. “I also had the American Cancer Society staff. Brenda and Ed were always willing to listen and be supportive and uplifting,” recalls Lori. The community was also a huge source of strength for her. “When I attended my first American Cancer Society Relay For Life event after my first diagnosis with cancer, the community support I received was phenomenal,” said Lori. “I have participated in my local events ever since.” Prior to her diagnosis, she was never really involved with Relay For Life, ”It wasn’t until my diagnosis that Relay took on a very personal meaning to me as I could actually feel what the participants and survivors were really there for and why they relayed.” Today, Lori participates in several local Relays as part of a team, part of the steering committee, and an advocacy chair. “God truly blessed me. I went on to adopt a special needs child and conquer my cancer.”