Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Relay for a Reason

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Relay for a Reason

Article excerpt

For many in attendance, Friday's Warrick County Relay for Life event at Castle High School held a deeply personal significance. It was only fitting that the first speaker of the night was Ryan Riegle.

Ryan is a Castle senior and brother to Alex Riegle, whose yearlong battle with cancer touched many in the community. Alex died in March at age 16.

"We stand together tonight, united for a cause," Ryan Riegle said. "We see a lot of the problems in the world on television, but we don't connect with them because they're not right here in the community. But cancer, that's real. It's here, and it affects all of us, every day."

Ryan said his brother's fighting spirit and ever-present smile were both inspirational and eye-opening.

"The most important thing my brother taught me is to be thankful for your blessings," he said. "I hope when people think about him, they will remember that even in the worst times, he always had a smile on his face."

Autumne Baker, community representative for the American Cancer Society in Warrick County and coordinator of the event, said the Riegle family's cancer story was just one of many in the community. It is a disease that she has committed her life to helping find a cure. Like many others, she was inspired to get involved when cancer took its toll on her own family.

"I don't think there is anybody, anywhere that this disease hasn't somehow affected," she said. "This is a cause that everyone can get behind and I think that is why we have been successful."

The American Cancer Society is celebrating its 100th year of existence, and the campaign motto for 2013 is "Finish the Fight."

Baker pointed out that over the years, the organization has raised funds for research that render many forms of cancer far less dangerous today. She hopes to someday see the society's goal of completely eradicating cancer.

"Two generations from now we hope people don't even know what the word' cancer' means," she said.

Gunnar Lynch, 15 and a freshman at Boonville High School, is in his third year of recovery after first being diagnosed with leukemia as a child. He attended the rally with several friends who paid tribute to him with a not-so-subtle prop - a large cardboard cutout of Lynch's face. …

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