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Wish Upon a Cure
2016 Relay for Life Friday and Saturday
Mark-Jon Hirsch
Mark (left) and Jon Hirsch are the honorary co-chairs of the 2016 Relay for Life of Grant County in UWPlattevilles Williams Fieldhouse Friday and Saturday. See story, page 1, and page 6A.

The 2016 Relay for Life of Grant County will be held at UW–Platteville’s Williams Fieldhouse from Friday at 6 a.m. to Saturday at 7 a.m.

This year’s Honorary Survivors are identical twin brothers Jon and Mark Hirsch, who were diagnosed with the same cancer at almost the same time.

Jon Hirsch was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July 2013, and had a robotic prostatectomy five months later.

Following a prostate exam and PSA test, Hirsch didn’t have an enlarged prostate or a high PSA level, but given his family history he requested a biopsy.

“My biopsy revealed six of 12 samples were cancerous with a Gleason score of 3 + 3,” he said. “Thankfully I was diligent and discovered my cancer early. I opted for treatment rather than active monitoring. I’m glad I did.”

After Jon’s diagnosis, he suggested to Mark that he get tested. 

“It turns out Mark also had prostate cancer with a Gleason score or 4 + 3,” said Jon. “His cancer was more advanced than mine. Had I not alerted Mark, he wouldn’t have known.”

“I never imagined being a cancer survivor but I am,” said Mark. “Thanks to my twin brother Jon, I caught mine in time to have a robotic prostatectomy. … He had surgery two days after mine.”

Two years later, both Hirsches are cancer-free. Last year, Jon Hirsch, his wife Margaret Ruf, and Mark Hirsch and his son Tristan visited Granite Peak, Montana’s highest point, as part of their quest to find the highest points of all 50 states.

“We most enjoy spending time with our family members and living life,” said Jon. “In the words of my father, John Hirsch, “Every day is a good day.’”

The luminaria ceremony will be held at 10 p.m. Luminaria sales will be held from 5 to 9 p.m.

Events include the Miss Relay Contest at 6:50 p.m., and Kiss the Cook line dancing lessons at 11 p.m. The Pioneer Dance Teams will perform at 6:45 p.m. The Swing Band will play at 7 p.m., the Adam Bartels Band will play at 8 p.m., and the Initial First will perform at midnight. The pancake breakfast will be held at 5:30 a.m.

For a complete schedule, see page 6A. For more information, go to the Grant County Relay for Life Facebook page or