Local activist helps others despite personal tragedies

Remarkable Women

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Shelle Arnold has dedicated more than a decade of her life to Relay For Life. She started volunteering after her daughter-in-law died of cancer in 2008.

“You could walk the track and cry all night if you wanted and nobody’s going to say a word,” Arnold said. “That stranger’s going to come up and give you a hug.”

Arnold is currently the event chair for Relay For Life in Shawnee County. She also works with the Rock Chalk Round Ball Classic, a celebrity basketball game that raises money for kids fighting cancer.

“The players are all out on the court and the kids come out and the players high five each and every one of them. They don’t miss a beat,” Arnold said.

Since losing her daughter-in-law 12 years ago, Arnold has seen cancer touch her life time and time again. Her husband and step-daughter were both diagnosed and eventually beat cancer, while her stepmother died of cancer.

“I can’t believe that people say cancer’s never touched me,” Arnold said “I can’t believe that there are still people that say that. It can’t be true.”

Through everything cancer has touched, Arnold said she’s learned two things: never give up and never lose faith.

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