The Newton County Relay For Life is under way as the kickoff meeting was held Monday night at the Lampo Building.

The Newton County Relay For Life is under way as the kickoff meeting was held Monday night at the Lampo Building.

Robbie Prine, an American Cancer Society (ACS) Hero of Hope, was the guest speaker, telling the crowd of Relay captains, team members, committee members and individuals who wanted to become familiar with Relay about her journey with cancer.

"I was diagnosed on Oct. 14, 2011, with a brain tumor and after biopsy, they determined that it was a stage 2 cancer" she said. "And with some intervention through a lot of different hands, I was able to go to Duke Cancer Center (in North Carolina) and have my tumor removed. I am not having to do any chemotherapy or radiation, so I am doing wonderful as far as my health. I continue some treatment at Duke. After I had my brain tumor removed, then I got involved with ACS, and I have been doing that a little more than a year now."

The slow-growing tumor was about the size of a tennis ball, she said.

"I have some side effects, nothing major when you have a brain tumor that is about the size of tennis ball in the front portion of my brain," Prine said. "After they removed it, I have some tiny memory loss from time to time, but nothing major. I am doing wonderful."

She did her first Relay in her hometown of Springfield, Mo., last year.

"We got involved with the ACS and we formed a team called Duke Out Cancer, in honor of my journey through Duke," Prine said. "We did a Relay last year, before the Relay was finished, I was nominated to be a Hero of Hope. The Hero of Hope is someone that goes around and speaks at different events, kind of promotes the ACS and all that they are able to do for you. They have so many programs with road to recovery, lots of programs and I was nominated and I was chosen. So I am kind of going on a little speaking tour right now and I am loving every minute of it."
Relay For Life began nationally in 1984, when one person raised $27,000 for the cause to defeat cancer. Today, Relays are held nationwide and last for 12 hours.

During the Relay, various events include a reading of the cancer survivors, a luminary service and other activities to keep at least one member of each team on the walking track during the night.

"Relay is such a community effort when they come together, they are bonding for one cause, they are bonding for fighting against cancer," she said. "I think that is great community involvement and a wonderful way to spread the word."

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy and service.

For more information about the Newton County Relay For Life, please contact Kelly Emanuel at 389-8176 or