Sedona man honors sister by participating in run to help find cure for cancer

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A Sedona resident's plan to put on his running shoes to help find a cure for cancer became tougher and more emotional then he ever thought possible.

“As I was looking out at the plane, I saw a police officer come up on my left and I immediately knew what was going on,” Bob Redwanc said. “He told me the news that she had died in route from Chicago to Phoenix.”

It’s only been a few weeks since Redwanc lost his younger sister Terri Stefan to cancer. For almost two years, Stefan battled a very aggressive cancer that had spread from her lungs, liver, lymph nodes and eventually to her brain.
“We we're going to spoil her for a week,” Redwanc said. “We got her first class seats on the airplane and planned on buying her a wardrobe.”

But shopping wasn't the only thing Redwanc and his sister had planned the weekend of September 24. They were also going to participate in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life at the Sedona Red Rock High School.  It’s a fundraising event where teams can either walk or run up to 24 hours.

“The plan was for her to do the final lap with me, whether in a wheelchair or what ever she needed to do to get her around,” Redwanc said.

Despite his sister’s sudden death, Redwanc went ahead and did the walk.

“I told everyone that came out that I'm doing what they're doing,” Redwanc said. “So if walking or running that's what I will do because I wanted to spend that time with them.”

Redwanc wasn’t alone. Sedona volunteer race coordinator Sam Blom said there were 19 other relay teams that came out to show their support for those affected by cancer.

“Everyone that we know, knows someone that has cancer, it's the truth,” Blom said.

But for Redwanc, walking in this recent relay was more meaningful than he ever imagined. The best part, knowing his sister was with him in spirit.

“I think she would be blown away as I am,” Redwanc said.

While his goal was to complete 100 miles in 24 hours, it was about celebrating his sister's life and standing up for others battling cancer.

Relay for Life
For more information go to the American Cancer Society or Relay for Life.