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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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July 2, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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July 2, 2014
 

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14B Wednesday, July 2, 2014 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Relay for Life raises $42,000 for cancer fig qt Laura Beaton Staff Writer Ibeaton@plumasnews.com This year in Plumas County, 350 residents are expected to die from cancer and more than 800 will be diagnosed with the disease. These sobering statistics are from the 2012 American Cancer Society's California cancer facts and figures. Plumas County's Kickin' Cancer Relay for Life took place over the July 21-22 weekend at Feather River College. The 24-hour event is held nationwide and internationally, with the goal of raising funds for cancer research as well as aid for families stricken by the disease. Ceremonies kicked off Saturday morning with event chairwomen Vickie Poh and Jennifer Merrill telling the crowd of about a hundred, "First and foremost, we will put an end to this disease." Greenville's Jared Vital sang the National Anthem and then Relay for Life Specialist Melissa Anderson gave a short speech. She said that people have drawn together since 1913 to fight for a cure for the disease and that the American Cancer Society's ultimate goal is to reduce the incidence of cancer to zero. ACS estimates that some form of cancer will develop in about one in two (white) males and one in three (white) females during their lifetimes. (For more cancer statistics go to http://bit.ly/lpfejAb.) One woman's story Breast cancer survivor Deedra Desentz of Quincy took the microphone next to tell a little of her story. About a year ago Deedra, 35, found a lump in her breast. She had no family history of the disease and was told by her first physician in Reno that she shouldn't Z worry. Fortunately, Deedra followed her instincts and sought further diagnosis. Sure enough, a mammogram showed a mass, and a biopsy detected cancer ceils in 15 of 17 lymph nodes. Desentz underwent a double mastectomy last "Now that I've gone throuan this, I ask, "How can I help other people?'" Cancer survivor Deedra Desentz August. An analysis of tissue showed stage 3 breast cancer. She began chemotherapy a month later. When her hair began falling out after two weeks of chemo, she asked her husband to shave it off. After her chemo regimen, she began radiation treatments that necessitated traveling to Reno daily, beginning January 30 and ending April 14. After going through the gamut of tumultuous emotions, Desentz emerged with a positive attitude. She said she focused on those two good lymph nodes. Each morning she woke up she was thankful to have an extra day. Desentz said because of the risk of infection throughout her treatment, she had to be careful about hugging her husband and especially her school-age children, who are 10, 12 and 14 years old. Although her family was angry at the first doctor who downplayed the risks of the lump she found, Deedra said she never got angry at him. She knew it wouldn't do her any good. She said her husband helped her a lot by communicating with friends and family, sending out updates via email with news that inspired other ' women -- and men -- to get mammograms. ' "Now that I've gone through this, I ask 'How can I help other people?'" Desentz led the survivor lap, holding the Relay for Life banner with two other cancer survivors while dozens of others walkhtiadthem celebrating 5, 10, 15, 20 and more years of survival after their diagnoses. Bringing up the rear was Vietnam veteran Ted White, 68, wheeling an oxygen tank behind him. White was See Relay, page 15B The survivor lap kicks off the 24-hour Relay for Life on June 21 at the Feather River College track. From left: Deedra Desentz, Steve Tolen (back) Mike Campbell, Kathy Campbell (back), Marty Burns, Judy Shaber and Quincy Petersen. The event raised more than $42,000 for the American Cancer Society's fight to end cancer. Photos by Laura Beaton The Angels of Hope team takes a lap around the Feather River College track during the 16th Plumas County Relay for Life on June 21. 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