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Relay for Life brunch celebrates life

By Kimberly Jordan kjordan@lebanondemocrat.com • May 20, 2014 at 7:00 PM

On Saturday, First United Methodist Church hosted the annual Survivors Brunch sponsored by Relay for Life.

Event Chair Tina Winfree said the sixth annual event included 85 guests, including survivors and their caregivers. She added the day was “a special time to recognize survivors and their caregivers and just make them feel special.”

First UMC Pastor Mike Ripski said, “we are happy that you are here. You are survivors and we celebrate your life.”

The morning’s speaker, John Harris, shared a unique story of survival - that of his son, Bobby.

“Our story is a little different in that we have two survivors,” Harris said.

Bobby and his twin brother Johnny are “the only documented twins” with the disease that plagued Bobby, said Harris. The pair are “mirror twins,” which Harris said means that when one feels pain, the other will experience a similar feeling.

“During Bobby’s process, there were times when he would go through tremendous mounts of pain,” said Harris. He continued by explaining some incidents when Johnny would get into trouble in school or other situations and how “each time those things occurred, Bobby was feeling pain.

“When Johnny was a terror, Bobby was in terrible pain,” he said.

Harris noted that when the two were together, Bobby’s pain would go away.

“It’s hard for a father,” he said. “Your children look at you and expect you to solve their problems. The hardest moment of my life was when Bobby realized that I couldn’t help him.”

Harris concluded by announcing to the attendees that Bobby was declared cancer-free on February 20.

“There’s not a trace of cancer in that little body,” Harris said. 

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