Cancer survivor's advice: Fight

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Ian Gronau | July 15, 2014

ELKHORN — This year's Relay For Life honorary survivor, Becky Greco, is still thinking about exactly how she wants to phrase her speech to attendees. But explaining a battle with cancer to someone, unless they know it themselves, is tricky.    

“I was trying to figure out how to explain cancer to someone,” said Greco, a Walworth resident. “The best way I can think of is that it's a roller coaster. You get in line, that's you going to the doctor. You're thinking about it, 'What's he going to tell me?' and then you've got the diagnosis and you're going up and up. Then you're thinking OK, I'm ready to fight this, but then you shoot down that first slope and your stomach drops.”

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This year's Relay For Life of Walworth County will begin with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, July 18, at the Walworth County Fairgrounds in Elkhorn. The event will run until 8 a.m. the following morning and include all sorts of activities, including musical chairs, a hula-hoop contest, a water balloon toss, a scavenger hunt and Jazzercise.

“Our theme this year is 'Not All Superheroes Wear Capes,'” said Relay For Life specialist Meghan Havill. “It's one of the ways we are celebrating our survivors and their heroic struggles this year.”
The honorary survivor and caregiver positions this year are being held by Becky and her husband, Tony. The Grecos were nominated by Heidi Schulz, a Relay For Life committee member who served as the honorary survivor two years ago.

“Everyone in the committee all had a chance to nominate someone and I picked Becky,” Schulz said. “I actually went to high school with Tony and knew of Becky's battle and what she had been through and what a fighter she is. I just thought she'd be the perfect example of an honorary survivor.”

Schulz has been participating in the annual event for five years, but this year will be the Greco family's first.

“Becky has never participated in a relay before so we are really excited to have her and her husband involved this year,” Havill said. “Her and her husband are doing a sort of dual survivor and caregiver role thing and participating as a relay team as well.”

Greco's struggle with cancer began with a diagnosis in 2010. She'd been experiencing recurring bouts of a sinus infection. Even though she was seeing an otolaryngologist, the antibiotics prescribed weren't taking care of her symptoms. More than that, Greco could tell something was wrong. It wasn't before long that the feeling manifested into something more real.

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