Emmet County Relay for Life teams bettered their goal of $87,000 for another great year in joining the fight against cancer.
This year's Relay saw the best gathering of entertainment yet, and with plenty of food stands, money continued to pour in until late Saturday night.
Shari Bisgaard, one of two of this year's honorary survivors, urged everyone present to be aware of their body.
Brent Hopp and Shari Bisgaard led the honorary survivors in the victory lap. Find more pictures from the event on Page 11A of today’s Estherville News.
Photo by Michael Tidemann
"No matter what kind of cancer it is, we struggle with it every day," she said.
And, like herself, regardless of a person's physical condition, cancer remains a possibility for everyone.
"Be in tune with your body," Bisgaard urged.
Bisgaard said she had a couple severe sunburns as a child, and after seeing suspicious signs in 2007, friends urged her to double-check what was first believed to be an infection. After five or six procedures, she was cured.
"It's being aware of your body," Bisgaard said. "With God, I'm blessed to be standing here. I thank you for the opportunity."
Brent Hopp, the other honorary survivor, found out he had cancer Aug. 30, 1993.
"My survival story started when I found out I had cancer," Hopp said. "My story is more about the people around me than me. I wish I could gather up all the people that were involved in my story and introduce them to you today."
Hopp credited his wife Phyllis and his nurses for giving him care and encouragement.
"A lot of things people do are really not part of their job description," Hopp said of his nurses. He also credited his neighbors for helping on the farm and people for donating blood and prayers.
"This story has my name on it, I guess. It's Brent's cancer story," said Hopp.
After four chemo treatments - five days each month for four months, his tumor was gone. On Aug. 3, 1998, his doctor said, "You're cured."
Hopp advised everyone to know their body.
"If something changes, tell somebody,' he said.
"And if you go to the doctor, take someone with you that can help you listen," he said.
"I was lucky not to have any bad memories, I guess. Everything went perfect," Hopp said.
He also urged people who might later have cancer to surround themselves with positive people and to find an activity they like.
"Your body will heal faster and you'll be healthier for it," Hopp said.
Hopp said he still had a stack of thank-you cards he had bought and wanted to send out - but still hasn't.
"Everytime I went to write one it just wasn't enough," he said.