Relay comes to YSU

YOUNGSTOWN – Mary Jo Marsh said she knows her 10 years participating in Relay For Life of Youngstown have made a difference.

Marsh, a survivor of uterine cancer 15 years ago, was back at it when the Youngstown Relay stepped off Friday evening at Beeghley Center on the campus of Youngstown State University.

The American Cancer Society fundraising event continues today.

Marsh is a member of the St. Charles Student Council team, whose theme this year is ”A Decade of Success.” She said she knows the decade she has spent walking in relays has been worth it because of the increasing number of cancer survivors each year.

Marsh said the students at the school are involved on the team because they all know someone who has cancer. And they all know people who have survived cancer.

Shari Polchosky of Berlin Center has also taken part in the Youngstown Relay for all 10 of its years. She said she got involved with some friends and has kept at it since her mother passed away of cancer five years ago.

”There’s a lot of continual support,” she said.

A group of cancer survivors was also supporting one another. Karen Ciar-niello of Boardman and Mary Lou Riebe of Poland, both breast cancer survivors, were on hand with a group of about 40 other survivors they know.

What advice would Riebe give to someone diagnosed with cancer? ”I would say keep fighting. Just keep fighting and keep the faith.”

Ciarniello said she likes taking part in the survivors lap at the beginning of each relay.

”I think it’s touching,” she said. ”Everybody clapping for you – it makes you feel good.”