Cancer survivor spearheads Relay for Life fundraiser

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
June Smith, an 11-year cancer survivor, is a Relay for Life team captain. She has organized a yard and bake sale at CEBCO Village Mart in Marion beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 17.

 June Smith was 45-years-old when her doctor found a lump in her breast during a routine exam.  She screamed. Her doctors sat with her for about an hour, calming her down, but she couldn't believe it. Eleven years later, following a lumpectomy, a radical mastectomy and chemotherapy, Smith is a proud survivor of breast cancer.

Today she is the captain of the Relay for Life team, the CEBCO Samplers. As captain, she is organizing a yard sale and bake sale fundraiser planned for Saturday, April 17 at CEBCO Village Mart in Marion beginning at 7 a.m.  The proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.

“It's a scary thing to go through,” Smith said. “They keep telling you to think positive, think positive…..but you can't always think positive.

“I had some down moments, especially after they decided they needed to go ahead and do a radical mastectomy. But I believe in God and I prayed and talked to Him.”

There's no doubt about Smith's inner strength.  Since she did not need radiation, and the chemotherapy did not make her sick, she drove herself to Washington D.C. every 21 days for treatment.  Proving good can come from bad, Smith credits the cancer with bringing her family closer to her.  When another lump was detected in the fall of 2009, she was not alone.  Thankfully, it turned out to be a fibroid cyst.  But for the past three years, she has been joined in the Relay for Life walk by her grandchildren, Alyssa Mae (7), Andrew James (6) and Amiya Elizabeth (2). 

This year, Smith asked two of her co-workers, Michelle Miller and Rhonda Wright, to take a trip to Washington D.C. for the Relay for Life walk. After discussing the idea, they decided to stay local and participate in the Greencastle event. The ladies then approached their employer, Margaret Booze, about sponsoring a team from CEBCO Village Mart. Booze, who lost her brother last year to cancer, liked the idea and was happy to participate.

The CEBCO Samplers team now consists of many other co-workers and friends.  Other fundraising activities by the team include a donation jar at CEBCO and a portion of the sales of Bonus Books.