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Shepherd University’s Relay for Life Announces Honorary Chairs

SHEPHERDSTOWN Relay for Life Event at Shepherd University

The Jefferson County Relay for Life, in collaboration with Shepherd University, is scheduled to take place from tonight through Saturday morning at the university. Last year, these two organizations merged their events to streamline their efforts in raising funds for cancer research.

One of the highlights of the Relay for Life event is the recognition of an honorary survivor and an honorary caregiver. This year, The Journal’s sports editor, Rick Kozlowski, was chosen as the honorary survivor, while Summit Point resident Teresa Tumblin was selected as the honorary caregiver.

Kozlowski’s cancer journey commenced on Father’s Day in 2021 when a tumor was detected in his colon. Despite the challenging circumstances, he viewed this discovery as an unexpected yet valuable Father’s Day gift, emphasizing the importance of early detection.

Following surgery to remove a portion of his colon, Kozlowski underwent seven months of chemotherapy while maintaining his work commitments, showcasing remarkable resilience and determination. Subsequently, he faced another diagnosis of prostate cancer in late summer 2023, leading to a surgical procedure to remove his prostate shortly before Thanksgiving.

Throughout his health challenges, including other medical issues, Kozlowski maintained a positive outlook, emphasizing the power of a positive mindset and humor in coping with adversity. He expressed gratitude for the support of his family, particularly his wife, who has been a pillar of strength and care throughout his journey.

In his role as the honorary survivor, Kozlowski aims to inspire and encourage others facing similar battles, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and finding moments of joy and laughter amidst difficulties.

On the other hand, Tumblin shared her perspective on the role of a caregiver, highlighting the profound impact of caregiving within the Relay for Life community. Drawing from personal experiences of supporting her sister and mother through their battles with cancer, Tumblin emphasized the significance of love, compassion, and practical assistance in caregiving.

She underscored the communal spirit and support network present within the Relay for Life community, where caregivers uplift and motivate each other through acts of kindness and selflessness. Tumblin recognized the resilience and dedication of caregivers, especially those who have experienced loss, referring to them as “ultimate caregivers” who continue to inspire others through their unwavering strength and compassion.

In conclusion, Tumblin acknowledged the collective effort of caregivers in the fight against cancer, honoring each individual who has contributed to this community of love, support, and solidarity.