SYSK: Relay for Life honorary survivors - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Relay for Life honorary survivors

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BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) -

This year, it's estimated 720 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Black Hawk County alone. Of those, 270 people will unfortunately lose the battle. Those numbers are from the State Health Registry of Iowa.

The Black Hawk County Relay for Life was June 17 and 18 at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo.

Leading the survivor's lap were this year's honorary survivors. Father and teacher Mark Strassburg.

"I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma, and I had two bouts with chemo and a stem cell transplant in Iowa city and fully in remission," said Mark Strassburg.

25-year-old Kristen Eveland.

"Three years ago I had a colonoscopy and they found a tumor and it was colon cancer," said Eveland.

Lynne Gander who had weight gain and a sore back.

"Through a series of test they found a tumor in my abdomen and it was ovarian cancer," said Gander.

And seven-year-old Kylie Cutsforth who was diagnosed with cancer at age two.

All four are proud to be wearing a purple shirt, designating them and many others as cancer survivors.

It was a long journey to remission for these four, and they hope to inspire others to fight back.

Mark Strassburg found his cancer after blowing out his knee in softball four years ago.

"Hopefully we can find a cure. We're getting closer every year. Just keep fighting the fight," said Strassburg.

Kristen Eveland's colon cancer is rare for someone her age.

"They did genetic testing on it, too. It wasn't. Just unlucky," said Eveland.

Luckily now, she's doing fantastic.

Lynne Gander lost her first husband to brain cancer.

"It's just an honor to represent survivors, and I'm thankful I'm here as a survivor and give others hope cancer is not a death sentence," she said.

Gander recently found out her cancer is back, but she's prepared to fight again.

And the youngest honoree, Kylie Cutsforth said she's doing good. She's playing outside and swimming this summer.

All four honorary survivors plan and hope to be back for next year's relay for life and many more to come.

This year's relay for life raised $182,000 for the American Cancer Society. Donations are still being accepted during the next month.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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