Local Woman's Journey with Relay For Life

Posted at: 07/11/2013 6:51 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The Fillmore County Relay For Life is Friday. For many, it's a time to cheer on cancer survivors while remembering those who lost their battle. One local woman's journey with Relay For Life has changed over the years, but one thing has always stayed the same, her fight for a cure.

"You know, you hear that word, it's a word you don't want to hear," said Judy Starr of Rochester.

Cancer, a battle that Judy Starr and her family know all too well.

"And then when you hear that word, it's heart-wrenching," said Starr.

Judy's older sister survived cervical cancer, but her younger lost her fight against breast cancer 13 years ago.

"It was devastating," said Starr.

And as if that wasn't enough, "In February of this year my mom died of pancreatic cancer," said Starr.

Judy and her family continue to fight for a cure, walking in the Fillmore County Relay For Life, as part of a team her younger sister Diane started before she passed away.

"I was always the one behind everyone else cheering on the survivors and then that year it was going to be different," said Starr.

Three years ago Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now the relay is not just a fight for others. Looking at pictures of past relays, Judy says it's the best support system she could ask for. Especially when she comes across this one, of her son Corbin.

"He grows his hair out as long as it can and gets his hair cut every year," said Starr.

Cutting his hair to raise money for cancer research, but also doing it for his mom.

"I kind of felt bad for her that she lost her hair and I didn't want her to be the only person to be bald," said Judy’s son Corbin.

"I'm going to persevere and I’m going to go on and I’m going to fight because I’m not ready to let this cancer take control of me or take me away," said Starr.

The Fillmore County Relay For Life starts at 6:00 p.m. Friday night at the Harmony Community Center. ABC 6 News is proud to be a sponsor of the event and our own James Wilcox will be one of the MC’s.