(Wood River, IL) - It’s been two years since Monica Furlow, 52, of East Alton, was told she had breast cancer. Today, thankfully, she’s cancer free and dedicated to helping others in situations similar to her own.

A member of Against All Odds, a Relay for Life of Riverbend team, Furlow spends a great deal of her free time these days fund raising and planning fund raising events to raise money for the American Cancer Society, which she found very helpful in her time of need.

The ACS offers a vast array of services to those fighting cancer, including helping to provide rides to and from doctors’ appointments, helping cancer patients feel better about themselves through a program called “Look Good… Feel Better” (http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org/) and helping them with wigs when treatment causes their hair to fall out, among others.

“Deon from the ACS in Maryville was the best,” Furlow said, recounting her depressing hair loss experience. “She got out all kinds of wigs and helped me pick one out, and told me where to go to get it styled (Sizzor Shak in Collinsville, Ill.). Linda there is really great at styling them.”

Furlow’s Relay for Life team has a number of events coming up, for those who are interested in helping the cause.  

Against All Odds will host a trivia night at 7 p.m. this Friday, April 16 at the Wood River VFW at 231 East Edwardsville Road.

The cost is $100 per table of eight ($12.50 per person for a full table), which includes trivia, free beer, soda and snacks, but participants may feel free to bring their own snacks as well. Please, do not bring in outside alcohol.

There will also be door prizes, a 50/50 and a basket raffle.

Call Monica at (618) 409-3614 or Autumn (618) 593-5347 as soon as possible to reserve a table. Registration is recommended but not required.

On May 1, the team will hold a rummage sale – everything from home décor to clothes and holiday decorations - from which all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

The sale will be from 7 a.m. to noon at Pinto’s Kustoms, 57 Airline Drive in East Alton, right next door to the fire department.

“I always encourage people to come out and see what Relay is all about. If you’ve ever known anyone with cancer, I think you should come to the event and see just what the ACS can do to help people,” Furlow said.

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Riverbend will be held from 6 p.m. June 25 to 6 a.m. June 26 at EA-WR High School.

Relay is an overnight event that brings the community together in the fight against cancer. Funds raised by teams and individuals go toward cancer research, community educational programs, advocacy initiatives, and support services for area patients and their families.

For more information on Relay for Life of Riverbend, please call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345, e-mail Event/ACS staff partner Mandie Sidener at mandie.sidener@cancer.org or visit www.relayforliferiverbend.com.

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