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KYMMA Day to Fight Cancer a Success

Marcia Morris (morris.marcia@gmail.com)

Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010

PLYMOUTH - In contrast to last year's downpour, this year the weather was perfect for the start of the 11th Annual Day to Fight Cancer in Plymouth.

KYMMA's Kathryn Melanson and Miss New Hampshire, Krystal Muccioli

Hundreds of assembled supporters looked heavenward into a sunny blue sky dotted with puffy clouds as dozens of white doves were released to signal the start of Keeping You, Me and Memories Alive's (KYMMA) annual fundraising walk to support people in Central New Hampshire who are suffering because of cancer. Miss New Hampshire, Krystal Muccioli, did the honors, cutting the purple ribbon to open the walk, joining Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen, State Senator Deb Reynolds and other dignitaries for the ceremony marking the start of the day's events.

Photo: Keeping You, Me, and Memories Alive (KYMMA) event organizer Kathryn Melanson and Miss New Hampshire, Krystal Muccioli, prepare to cut the ribbon for the 11th Annual Walk to Fight Cancer held on the Plymouth State University campus this past weekend.

As soap bubbles danced above their heads and the Newfound Middle School Band serenaded the walkers, KYMMA board member Diane Tiffany reminded everyone that the first lap of the walk is dedicated to celebrating cancer survivors.

Other speakers thanked the gathered crowd for their ongoing support of KYMMA.

Cancer survivor David Converse greeted the walkers with a joke or two and a great deal of gratitude for everything that KYMMA did to help him this past spring, as he was hospitalized at Dartmouth fighting cancer.

Steen said that Plymouth State University was proud to host the annual Cancer Walk and congratulated everyone on a "wonderful partnership," with so many groups coming together on behalf of the region.

"This shows just how much we care about one another and how we remember those that we have lost to this disease," she said.

"So many of us have been touched by cancer," said Reynolds, who shared that her own brother had been diagnosed earlier this summer and had undergone treatment.

Reynolds said that she was grateful for the efforts of one of the "true heroes" of cancer patient advocacy, Ann Marie Morse, in bringing "Michelle's Law" to New Hampshire, and ultimately to the federal level, so that no student would ever again have to suffer the injustice of losing student insurance when facing a battle with cancer.

Morse's daughter, Michelle, was a Plymouth State University student before she lost her battle to cancer.

As she has been every year, Morse was on hand to walk in memory of Michelle and in support of others who are struggling with the disease.

"This walk means an awful lot to me and my family," said Morse. "I encourage all of you to keep coming, and to continually bring more people. As we walk on this beautiful afternoon, let's think about those who have been diagnosed with cancer, and let's keep fighting."

The walk was held outside on the glorious autumn day at the Plymouth State University Physical Education Center.

In addition to the walk, there were children's games, face-painting, Make Your Own Cancer bracelet (beading), great food and excellent entertainment to keep spirits up throughout the 10-hour event.

In addition to the Newfound Middle School Band, performers included Jim Tyrell, Mixed Emotions, White Mountain Swing Band, Idol Hands, the Chris White Band, Matt Smart and Peter Downing.

New this year, and very popular, was the "dunk tank" where prominent local personalities volunteered to support the cause. The ceremoniously dunked included Officer Jenn Frank of the Plymouth University Police, Dr. Jeff Reisert of Tenney Mountain Internal Medicine, Ralp Oliver of Oliver Drug, Britt McDonald of Tenney Mountain Internal Medicine, Greg Turmelle of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Andy McDonald and Coach Tom Underwood of Plymouth Elementary School, and many more good sports.

Source: Record Enterprise (Link opens in a new window.)


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