Survivors to lead Washington County Relay for Life lap


Photo provided
Jennifer and Brian Woodyard smile for the camera at a family wedding.

Two local cancer survivors will lead the “Survivors Lap” during Washington County’s Relay for Life at Civitan Park in Belpre Saturday afternoon.

The Grand Marshal is Belpre resident Jennifer Woodyward who was diagnosed with stage IV bile duct cancer in July 2023. Prior to her diagnosis, she loved to bike, kayak, swim or work out at the gym.

She went through eight rounds of chemotherapy and immunotherapy and still receives immunotherapy regularly. This will be her first Relay.

“I’ve never been involved with (Relay for Life) before, but I’m looking forward to connecting with other survivors and thrivers,” she said.

Woodyard said her husband Brian has been a key supporter through her journey. They met at the Pittsburgh Marathon six years ago and went back this year with renewed meaning.

Photos provided
Sophie Boothby takes a break during her shift as a server at Glenwood Retirement Community, just hours before being hospitalized.

“We call it our anniversary marathon but this year we called it our ‘Celebration of Life’ marathon.” she said.

Woodyard said her diagnosis has taught her a few key lessons: letting the people around you help when you are struggling; each person can help in a different way; and make time to visit with family and friends.

Junior Grand Marshal is Warren High School sophomore Sophie Boothby. She said her mom Christy has organized Relay for Life teams in the past and has helped plan past relays.

Even though she will have finished her first week of radiation at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, she plans to attend Saturday’s event.

Boothby is a member of the Marietta Dance Academy, a member of the cheerleading squad, and a member of the A Cappella Choir, Treble Choir and Handbell Choir, along with working at Glenwood Retirement Community,

On the evening of March 10, Bootthby told her mom the room was spinning and she couldn’t see out of her left eye. She was taken to the emergency room, where a rare type of brain tumor was found. She was life-flighted to Nationwide that night. Boothby said she knew that hospital was the right place to help her. After a surgery to remove the tumor, she will undergo radiation treatment five days a week for six weeks.

Christy said she admires her daughter’s strength and ability to face cancer with a positive attitude.

Kristen Hainkel can be contacted at

Teams participating in the 2024 Relay for Life of Washington County:

• Brady’s Bunch

• Bridget and Ace’s Brigade

• Cancer Crush

• Cancer Kickers

• Jane’s Cancer Blasters

• Kenadee Strong

• Kicking Cancer for Kiel

• Marietta Community Foundation

• Marietta Elementary School

• Marietta Memorial Cancer Center

• Miller Family and Friends


• MOVn Dragons

• Sorelle di Lotta

• Team Impossible

• Team Of The Sea

• TeamJen

• The Stewart Family

• Tunnel Warren UMC

• Westlake Dimex

Relay for Life of Washington County 2024 schedule:

• 3 p.m. — Event kickoff; food trucks; High Schools That Rock (gazebo); survivor registration/check-in (Shelter 1); laps begin

• 4 — Survivor/caregiver dinner (Shelter 1)

• 4:15 — Cold Shot (gazebo)

• 5 — Site judging; cake walk (gazebo)

• 5:30 — Opening ceremonies; group photos; survivor and caregiver lap

• 6:15 — Kiddie Tractor Pull (driveway); live auction (gazebo)

• 6:30 — Kids’ games (Shelter 2)

• 7:15 — Golf ball drop (park entrance)

• 7:30 — 5 Spot (gazebo)

• 8:30 — 50/50 drawing (gazebo)

• 8:45 — Luminary service with silent lap; closing ceremony/last lap

• 9:30 — End of event

2024 Relay for Life of Washington County Corporate Sponsors:


Memorial Health System Cancer Center


CAS Cable


The Marietta Times

95XIL, Z106 The Rock, 109 The Bear, Froggy 99

The James Cancer Center at Ohio State University

WMOA Radio


City of Belpre

Qdoba Mexican Eats


Applebee’s of Marietta

5 Spot Band

Cold Shot Band

Hall Financial Advisors, LLC

McClure-Shafer-Lankford Funeral Home

R.O. Wetz Transportation Co.

Triple R Music Works

Turner Trucking

United Rentals

Wetz Warehousing LLC


Bob’s Greenhouse

Civitan Club of Marietta/Pioneer Men’s Civitan/Pioneer Ladies Civitan Club Dist. 34, Club #2524

Citizens Bank Company

Event Design Production & Rentals

Haas Septic and Portable Toilets

Heiss Plumbing & Electric Inc. Sales & Service

High Schools that Rock

KMA Auto

McLeish Auction

Rumpke Waste & Disposal

State Farm – Charlie Wentz

Trademark Solutions

Wendy’s Restaurants

WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center


American Legion Post 64 of Marietta

Jeremiah’s Coffee

Lisa’s Sweet Stop

Peoples Bank of Marietta

Franklin Fire & Signs

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