Monday, September 27, 2010

First Annual VJS Walk a Huge Success!

The True Meaning of, "I walk for you."

     On September 18th at 7:00 a.m. the First Annual VJS “I Walk for You” Walk took way. Those from the “Our Family” RFL team who were able to attend, were comprised of walkers, Amy Sanders, Jordan Sanders, Haiden Sanders, Paula Sanders, Noema Gearhart, Philip Sanders ,and Lynn and Elisa Coffman. Escorting them were Elisa’s sister, Gloria Hutson, and Elisa’s husband, Lynn Coffman. The “Our Family” Relay for Life Team 2011 started their walk at the Rolla City limits at 7:45 a.m., in an effort to raise money in the fight against cancer in honor of their mother, Velva Jean Smith. Each member carried a handkerchief with the names on them of those family members, past and present, who have been diagnosed with cancer.

      The day started out with a nice temperature but by mid day it was hot, humid and in the nineties. Elisa Coffman, Team Captain of the “Our Family” Relay for Life team, who is also a 13 year cancer survivor, planned on walking the whole course while the other team members walked together and then alternated walking during the trip.

     To keep them from becoming dehydrated, the “Our Family” team drank lots of Propel water, which was donated by Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. of Rolla. It was very important for the team member s to keep from getting dehydrated. “Our Family” also snacked on homemade trail mix throughout the trip to maintain their blood sugars.

     Lake Springs was there first stop where they grabbed a quick bite to eat. Through the trip they kept their mother updated on the progress of the trip. They called her while they were at Lake Springs. When Elisa asked her mother what she was doing, Velva replied, “I am walking with you.” That touched Elisa’s heart immensely since she was walking to let her mom know that no matter what she would be her feet and be there for her in her fight against cancer.

      After their brief stop, the team got back on the road. By this time Philip Sanders, Elisa’s son-in-law arrived, though he had other duties and had not intended to walk, he took over walking with Elisa. Approximately 13 miles into the walk, Elisa became ill and started to chill. Elisa kept pushing it but then started getting dizzy. She knew that since she had already had one stroke, going on could cause another one, and with the effects of the heat that was already taking its toll, she didn’t want to chance it. Besides, if it didn’t kill her, her mother would for pushing it too far! So she made the tough decision of stopping her walk. She got in the car with her husband, Lynn, and began to cry saying, “I am sick and I don’t think I can make it.” Lynn assured Elisa that it was alright and that her mother wouldn’t want her to keep going if she was sick. Then Lynn and Phil talked it over and made a decision. Lynn got back into the car and said that he and Philip would finish the walk. In essence he was saying, “I will walk for you.” Therefore the walk that Elisa was inspired to do for her mother, continued with the efforts of her husband Lynn, of 23 years, and Philip, her son-in-law. They both continued walking until they nearly finished the walk. But when they were about a quarter of a mile from the finish line, Elisa and her daughter Amy took over and finished the walk for their mother and grandmother. It was a very emotional experience for each and every one of them.

      This family, made up of many members, walked in one accord, as one, and succeeded in making their walk a success raising $1100.00 in pledges. That day the words that the “Our Family” RFL Team wore on their shirts came full circle and everyone learned exactly what it meant to say, “I will walk for you.”

Thursday, September 2, 2010



Sunshine and “wild flyers” and running through the field;

Splashing and swimming in the creek ‘til we were chilled.

Singing and laughing and sharing secrets of our hearts;

Barbies and bicycles and going to the park.

Butterflies and lightening bugs and bumble bees;

Splinters and bruises and then skinned knees.

Best friends and cousins though sometimes we fought;

Making up and vowing never to part.

Health and sickness and then came death;

This is what separated me from my cousin Beth.

I still have memories and more memories still;

These memories are helping my heart to heal.

Beth, I’m fighting hard against this deadly disease called


That someday soon we will find the answer.

I miss you Bethy,

Love Rethy

In loving memory of my cousin Beth Payne-Karr

Succumbed to cancer


-Elisa Coffman 2002

Monday, August 30, 2010

The VJS Walk "I Walk For You"

    My mother's name is Velva Jean Smith. Most of you don't know her and probably never will. But I guarantee you, you will remember her name. You see, "Our Family" Relay for Life Team 2011 has formed the first annual VJS Walk, "I Walk For You." The walk is in honor of my mother who has been diagnosed with lung cancer. I feel helpless against the disease but I have decided to put my walking shoes on and take a stand, or walk, against cancer. This walk is also in honor of those family members and friends who are, have, or will be diagnosed with cancer.

     The first annual VJS walk will be September 18th, 2010 and will begin at the Rolla City Limits and continue to the Salem City limits sign. We will be starting the walk at 7am continuing until the walk is completed. We will have two cars chaperoning us throughout the event, and we would like to ask you to be extra careful that day, and be aware that our team will be walking. We are taking pledges for the walk and the proceeds will go to the "Our Family" Relay for Life Team 2011 fundraising efforts.

     If you would like to make a pledge contact me, Relay Rethy, at 573-453-8570 or contact via email at: We hope you will help us in our fund raising efforts and help us in the fight against cancer. ~ Relay Rethy

Don't Forget RADA!

      Don't forget! We are still selling Rada cutlery and we are having rave reviews! If you would like to purchase your RADA knives and cutlery you can go online at where you can view the different items in the RADA catalog and after purchasing your RADA item, it will be delivered straight to your home without any middle man! Isn't that great? To do so you will need our group number which is: 502633 and our password is: kids. You will not be sorry that you purchased from RADA cutlery. Also don't forget, these are 100% AMERICAN MADE! So purchase your RADA knives today and help us take a slice out of cancer. ~ Relay Rethy

How Does Cancer Form?

     Cancer can occur to anybody, anywhere, at anytime. Cancer doesn't care who you are, nor does it care what you are doing with your life or what you have planned. Cancer doesn't care how old you are; it can occur at any stage in life. Yes, cancer is a poignant disease that seeks to selfishly destroy.

     One may wonder how this awful invader may enter into your personal space known as your body. The body is a cellular organism made up of multiples and multiples of cells. Some cells, such as blood cells, regenerate themselves and have an actual life span, where as other cells, such as the muscle cells, do not and last through out a life time to serve the purpose of motion. These are just two examples of cells that form in the body. The cells that do have a life span, will rejuvenate themselves by individually bearing two daughter cells which then further subdivide and develop with each of those daughter cells bearing their own daughter cells. This cycle continues keeping the body rejuvenated.

     When cancer forms, it forms from either a mutated cell or from cells that don't readily die off. These cells either have a rapid growth spurt of production or they will form by attaching themselves to healthy cells where a tumor forms by further regeneration of daughter cells which also will be attached to the healthy cell. Thus, creating a road block to the healthy cycle, detouring the cells into the abnormal growth.

     The immune system will try to fight off any pathogen, or "foreign being" found in the body, but when a sudden burst of cells develop adaption can occur. When this happens the body does not recognize the growth and therefore does not fight it off. A more simpler explanation might be that the body has fighter cells, the white blood cells, that go after the enemy, in this case the abnormal formation of a cluster of cells. They war against them to defeat them and regain their territory in the body. When the enemy cell disguises itself, the fighter cells do not recognize them, therefore since the enemy cells are in hiding, so to speak, the fighter cells can not fight against their enemy to be able to defeat them. Thus the enemy cells set up a camp in the body known as a "tumor." The tumor continues to grow as more enlisted men (cells) are generated.

     Researchers are now trying to develop a vaccine to eliminate certain cancers. A vaccine is made up of small amount of the pathogen that the body will want to fight off if it were to develop in the body. When introduced into the body, the vaccine gives the fighter cells a picture of the pathogen "to study" in case of future attacks by this enemy. Thus, this "profile picture" of the pathogen gives the fighter cells time to know its enemy and allow them time to prepare in case of invasion of the enemy cell. The fighter cells would then be properly prepared to fight off the enemy when it first shows up eliminating its invasion. Vaccines take approximately two days to two weeks to be effective.

     With time maybe research will be able to develop such a vaccine and with our donations we individually can say, "And I helped!" ~ Relay Rethy

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I am Having a Love Hate Relationship Right Now

     I love my mom so much, as do I my cousin Beth. Both have been diagnosed with cancer this summer. I hate cancer! It is devouring my friends and family. A dear friend of ours died today. Michelle Hill had been in a long battle with cancer and has finally succumbed to the disease. I love my family and I hate cancer, thus forms a love/hate relationship.

     I feel like I am helpless. I want to do something to help them but I feel powerless. I know that prayers give me power, for GOD listens to me. He's my FATHER and he understands losing someone you love. After all CHRIST died for our sins and that was the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

     I will continue to pray and I will walk. My feet will walk for those who are weak. My feet will walk for those who can't walk anymore. I will walk to honor those fighting cancer and I will walk to remember those who fought cancer and lost the battle. I will walk to raise money to find a cure of this horrible, deadly disease. I will walk until I can walk no more. For my feet will stand in for all those who can not.

     I am a 13 year cancer survivor, and I will not let cancer dictate our lives anymore. Thank you GOD for giving me feet that I may stand in for others.

Until next time,
Relay Rethy

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Our Family" Relay for Life Team

     Welcome to "Our Family" Relay for Life Team's blog. We are a family made up of many members who are fighting for the cure against cancer. We plan to take a bite out of this horrible disease and let cancer know we mean business.

     We have many family members who have succumbed to the disease, cancer; there are those who are still fighting it; and there are those who have fought the battle and won. We dedicate this site to them.

     Cancer will affect 1 in 2 men this year as well as 1 in 3 women. It is not prejudice and will attack anyone. Young and old, black and white, rich and poor, not only human but animal as well; cancer knows no bounds.

     Our goal is to raise $1000.00 in the next year to aid Relay for Life in the fight against cancer.We are going to have several fundraisers through out the next year for the Dent County, Missouri Relay For Life Event in 2011. Will you help?

      Our current fundraiser, which will last through out this coming year, is Rada Cutlery. Rada is a very high quality cutlery that lasts a life time. It is 100% American made with a lifetime guarantee.

      Please help support "Our Family" Relay for Life Team's fight against cancer. Through a unique and simple Internet ordering system, you may order quality Rada Cutlery kitchen knives, utensils, gift sets and other merchandise direct from the manufacturer at a very low price. This means that not only will you get a great deal on amazing products but that you will also be helping our group meet our fundraising goal at the same time.

     To take advantage of this opportunity and to help our group, log-on to using our group's information:
  •     Internet Ordering #: 502633
  •     Password: kids
When you place your order on line, your order will be delivered to your address in 15 working days or less. Please know that your purchase not only will benefit the Cancer Society but it also supports American workers and their families. Rada Cutlery has been proudly manufactured in America's heartland since 1948!

Thanks for your support!
Relay Rethy

Cancer, I'M BACK!!!