Carcinoid Cancer Advocacy

For Heather Yohnka-Boettcher serving as an advocate for carcinoid cancer is her focus as a team captain in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.  The 2010 Relay for Life of Van Buren West will be held on June 12 and 13 from 10:00 am to 10:00 am at Bangor High School in Bangor, Michigan.

Over 3.5 million people in 5,000 communities in the United States, along with additional communities in 20 other countries, participate in this global event and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer.

carcinoid cancer, rare cancers, rare diseases

Three generations: Betty Yohnka, her daughter Heather Yohnka-Boettcher, and granddaughter Genevieve Rose

According to the American Cancer Society, “Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length.”

Ms. Yohnka-Boettcher says each year teams are asked to advocate for a specific cancer.  The reason she chose to be an advocate for carcinoid cancer is because bringing about greater awareness of the disease is critical.  “I know that carcinoid needs more attention.  I know it too well.  I also know that it is so often misdiagnosed.  My mother, Bette Yohnka, was diagnosed with carcinoid in 2002 and lost her fight against the disease in August 2008.  After my mom was diagnosed we found out that my grandmother also had carcinoid cancer but none of us had any idea, or had even heard of it before.  So this is a topic that needs more attention.  At the Relay For Life I will try to help people understand such a rare and unusual form of cancer.”

“Foot-soldiers” in the fight against cancer is how Team Captains and Team Members are described by the American Cancer Society.  Thank you, Heather, and your team for helping to celebrate cancer survivors, honor those whose lives have been touched by cancer, remember loved ones lost to the disease, and making a commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer.  The carcinoid and neuroendocrine tumor (NET) community appreciates all of your efforts to bring about greater awareness of these rare diseases.

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