The corporate sponsors of Lafayette County’s Relay for Life event this year are two families who have been personally affected by cancer: the Jim Meylor family and the David Reichling family, both of the Darlington area.
This year the relay committee went to families that have been affected by cancer, rather than businesses to see if they would be interested in sponsoring the Relay for Life event.
“There isn’t a family that hasn’t been affected by cancer in some way or even multiple ways,” said Natalie Andrae, a daughter of Jim Meylor. “We’re representing the families affected by cancer, but it’s not about us—it’s about everyone really and working to find a cure.”
The families were first asked to be sponsors back in the spring of the year and agreed to take on the task together.
“We were all born and raised in the same neighborhood, so our families are very interconnected,” explained Sherry Crist, a daughter of David Reichling.
In fact the mothers of both groups: Donna Reichling and Mary Meylor were neighbors and good friends; sadly both passed away from cancer. Later on in 2013, Crist’s stepmother Joann Reichling was also a victim to cancer.
“My father has definitely had a lot of loss in his life due to cancer,” said Crist. In addition to both spouses, David Reichling has lost a daughter: Theresa Thompson and a brother: Richard Reichling to the battle against cancer.
In the Meylor family there have also been multiple losses. In addition to their mother, the children of Jim and Mary Meylor have lost a grandmother, a cousin: Rick Meylor and an aunt, Barb Judkins to cancer through the years.
“We’re doing this together because we’re all neighbors and friends, but we’re also doing it for the people who don’t have anyone there for them when they go through this,” said Amanda Engelke, another daughter of Jim Meylor.