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Herald JournalHerald Journal, April 11, 2005

Ollig joins swell of local support in walking for cancer cure

By Lynda Jensen

The swell of local support for cancer research just got stronger with the help of Winsted native Laura Ollig.

Ollig plans to strap on her walking shoes for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth April 22.

Laura has several reasons for walking, commented her father Tom Ollig.

Laura’s great-grandmother, Katherine Gillman, had cancer, and Laura also has an aunt, Sister Margerite Horejsi in Mankato, who has leukemia, Tom said. Horejsi serves with the sisters of Notre Dame.

Laura, herself, was diagnosed with a blood disorder that she battled for two years until she had her spleen removed a few years ago, Tom said.

“She’s been good ever since,” he said. Laura is a senior at St. Scholastica.

Relay for Life has been supported by several teams for many years, along with residents who also take part in supporting breast cancer research done by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation every year on Mother’s Day in May.

Both entities focus on finding a cure for cancer, with local energetic teams taking part in walking to raise funds.

“All of the money that is donated to sponsor a team is used to help detect cancer early, prevent cancer, find a cure, and to provide services to help everyone touched by cancer to make it through their journey,” Ollig said.

“This year is my fourth year participating in the Relay for Life event, and my second year in which I have been on the planning committee to help organize the event,” she said.

This relay is also special because all participants and organizers are either college or high school students.

It will be an overnight run, starting at 6 p.m., and going until 6 a.m., she said.

Ollig’s team is one of 40 teams composed of about eight to 15 members each.

Each team member will take turns walking around a track or path.

“We will walk in remembrance of those that have lost the battle with cancer and in honor of those who have survived or are still fighting,” she said.

Luminaries made for cancer victims and survivors will be lit in a special ceremony and will light the path through the night.

Each team is required to have one team member on the track at all times during the relay.

The whole night will be filled with non-stop activities and excitement, with entertainment planned to last throughout the night.

“If you would like to sponsor Ollig’s team, while donating to this great cause, you may send donations to:

Laura Ollig CSS 1328
1200 Kenwood Ave.
Duluth MN 55811

Luminaries may also be purchased for $10 in honor of someone who has been touched by cancer.

Checks should be made payable to the American Cancer Society.

Those who are interested may also go online www.acsevents.orglrelay/mn/css and click on either Ollig’s team, “Essence of Life,” or her name.

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