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When you wish upon a cure!

Hunter Groth1 / 2
Bill and Barb Demulling2 / 2

The rally cry for the 2017 Relay For Life of New Richmond has a noted ring to it: "When You Wish Upon A CURE!"

The familiar saying is adopted by this year's Relay For Life of New Richmond to encourage community members to dream big like princesses do. The event will raise money to defeat cancer, support area cancer survivors and remember loved ones who fought a courageous battle.

The event is set for 2 p.m. Friday, June 9 through 2 p.m. Saturday, June 10, with a DJ, kids games, adult activities, silent auction, food and more. The event will be held at the New Richmond Middle School (920 Riley Ave). Everyone is welcome to attend.

"It is very inspiring to see how this community rallies around all the people affected by this horrific disease. Because of the commitment of so many New Richmond has been able to be a leader in a world with less cancer," said Relay For Life Community Manager Kellie Burrows.

This year's honorary chairs include Hunter Groth and Bill and Barb Demulling.

To register a team or donate go to RelayForLife.org/newrichmondwi. For questions, contact Betty Swanson, blmswanson@hotmail.com, 715-410-5488; Patty Berger, peace.b.with.u@hotmail.com, 715-222-0376; or Kellie Burrows, kellie.burrows@cancer.org, 612-227-8135 (call or text).

Hunter Groth

Groth is the son of Doug and Amy Groth and the oldest of four children, including Abby, Chloe and Owen.

"I couldn't have asked for better parents," Groth said.

Groth graduated from high school Friday, May 26.

"I love sports. Baseball, basketball, and football all sparked my interest at a young age," Groth said. "I am an avid Minnesota sports fan. I'm the only Minnesota Viking fan in my family along with my dad. I played sports up until some knee injuries ended my involvement in sports, but I still play with friends."

Groth was diagnosed with High Risk All Leukemia when he was 3-years-old and didn't feel well for most of his youth due to being sick from the chemo or getting other illnesses from a weakened immune system. He made many hospital visits and underwent extensive chemotherapy, which lasted for just under four years. Groth is now perfectly healthy after winning his battle with cancer and has no long-term side effects from chemotherapy.

"I'm excited to attend the University of North Dakota this fall and am looking to pursue a career in the medical field," Groth said. "Cancer has taught me things. Its taught me to never take anything for granted because you never realize how lucky you are to be healthy until you aren't. I had cancer young before I knew all of that, but I know how fortunate I am and my parents taught me that."

Cancer also showed Groth that family and loved ones are more important than anything.

"My family stayed by my side from day one and I couldn't be more thankful," Groth said. "I love my family. They are who helped shape me into the man I am today."

Bill and Barb Demulling

Bill and Barb Demulling were highschool sweethearts and have been married for 44 years, raising two children in Dresser along the way.

Most recently the couple lived in Somerset. Bill retired as a truck driver of 30 years in 2007 due to back issues. Barb retired in 2014 after 38 years working as a financial controller and director for various corporations.

The Demullings' goal in retirement was to travel in their RV, but that plan took a detour after Barb was diagnosed with aggressive ductal breast cancer in June 2013. The next nine months included surgery, chemo and radiation, with Bill becoming Barb's caregiver.

After Barb reached remission in 2014, the pair decided to go ahead with their retirement plans. They sold their house and were on the road in their RV the day after closing.

However, they were faced with another cancer diagnosis. In July 2014, Bill was diagnosed with Blastoid Variant Mantle Cell Lymphoma and Barb's previous role as patient changed to that of caregiver as the pair again put their travel plans on hold.

Bill's prognosis of survival with this rare blood cancer was not hopeful and he spent nine months at Mayo Clinic and Hospitals in Rochester, Minn., attacking the cancer head on. His treatments involved chemo 24 hours a day for a week at a time along with immunotherapy. At the end of his treatments, Bill received a stem cell transplant on Feb. 27, 2015.

He has surprised his medical team with his great progress and is now 27 months post transplant.

After attending a survivorship program — and with the support of the medical staff at Westfields Hospital and Clinic, Western Wisconsin Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic — the Demullings are able to live out their retirement plans. The couple is now living in their RV full time as they travel the United States.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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