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September 2014


Pewaukee, Menomonee Falls, Sussex

Relay For Life begins tonight

The Sussex-Menomonee Falls-Pewaukee American Cancer Society Relay for Life Event will begin with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m. tonight at Sussex Hamilton High School and continue until 9 a.m. Saturday, June 18.

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is the honorary chair and will speak at the opening ceremony. Along with Kleefisch, Kaitlyn Sweeney, 3, is the honorary youth chair.

Sweeney was diagnosed with stage 3 Wilm’s tumor at 8 months old. The tumor, along with her affected kidney, were removed and she began radiation and chemotherapy. After six rounds of radiation and 6 1/2 months of chemotherapy, she finished her last treatment and received news that she is was remission in November of 2009.

"Through all of this, Kaitlyn kept a cheerful disposition and has been a real trooper. In fact, she told the oncologist that when she grows up she is going to be a doctor and take care of her family and put band-aids on their owies," said an American Cancer press release.

Kleefisch woke up from a colonoscopy last August to her doctor telling her, "Becky, you have colon cancer,” reads the release.

Kleefisch's father died of pancreatic cancer eight years earlier.

After researching the disease and treatments available, Kleefisch found Dr. Kirk Ludwig who is internationally renowned as the best colorectal cancer surgeon around. Ludwig is at Froedert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin and taught others how to remove colon cancer laparoscopically.

On Sept. 2, 2010, Kleefisch had laparoscopic surgery to remove a tumor the size of a grapefruit.

“I'm telling you (my story) because perhaps you've been touched by cancer. If you have, you know that the stories of hope, of beating it, are the ones you hold on to. Just like my doctor awakened me with a story of hope, I hope you will share my story with someone who needs it,” Kleefisch said.

The world’s largest grassroots fundraising movement, Relay For Life mobilizes communities throughout the country to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and provide participants with an opportunity to fight back against the disease.

For more information, visit


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