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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: MU student celebrates Relay For Life with her mom, a cancer survivor

By ALISA FUNK/MISSOURIAN READER
March 20, 2013 | 12:41 p.m. CDT
MU junior Alisa Funk and her mom, Maureen, attended the March 16-17 Relay For Life event on the MU campus. Funk's parents were both diagnosed with cancer while she was in high school and both have now been cancer-free for five years.

MU junior Alisa Funk participated in Relay for Life, an annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. She walked in the March 16 Relay event at MU with her mother, a cancer survivor.

When I was 16 my dad and then my mom were diagnosed with cancer. It was a very hard time for me, knowing that the strongest people in my life were in their weakest state. It was terrible, but we were lucky enough to beat it. This spring both my parents are 5 years cancer free.

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Having my mom at the Relay for Life of Mizzou means the world to me. Not only do I get to celebrate still having my mother, everyone else at Relay honors her for being a survivor. Her birthday was also the same day as Relay. My mother deserves the world, and while it may seem simple, having the entire Relay sing happy birthday meant so much. After all, the American Cancer Society works for a world with more birthdays.

I was always involved with Relay for Life before my parents had cancer. It meant a lot to me to think I was helping others. Now from the other side, I know the research and services that helped my parents. I know the money we raise and the work we do really helps a lot of people. My parents are living proof of that, and I am so lucky to share my Relay experience with my mother.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.