Relay for Life Heroes Honored in Salem - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Relay for Life Heroes Honored in Salem

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New this year to Relay for Life: honoring local heroes. Some selected have passed away after battling cancer and others are now cancer free.

"There was a time when I really thought I wasn't going to make it," said Tom Roseberry, who learned this week he is cancer free after a four year battle with prostate cancer. "My grand kids were probably the strongest driving force I had because I could not let them not know me, so the fight became centered on them."  

Roseberry, a retired Salem assistant fire chief, was the first patient in a prostate cancer clinical trial at Johns Hopkins.

"We've made 23 trips to Baltimore over the last three years, plus I've lived there seven weeks," said Roseberry, who remembers what the doctor said as he was asking if he would participate in the clinical trial: "'We may not be able to help you, but you may help 10,000 other people.'"

Roseberry is one of three Salem heroes being honored at this year's Relay for Life.

James Taliaferro was also selected. The former Salem mayor passed away in 2002 after a battle with cancer.

"He was a true Salemite. He lived and breathed and Salem. He was an influence on building our baseball stadium and football stadium," said Kathy Murphy, who knew Taliaferro. "He did so much for Salem and he's still a big name here, so we're hoping his presence will raise money for the city of Salem today."

Amanda Nagy is also a hero. She passed away in 2011 after being diagnosed with stage four melanoma.

The hope is these three stories will bring in more money for the American Cancer Society to help find a cure.

Roseberry says this will be his first Relay for Life and he's hoping to make a difference for others.

"I feel like I'm paying back a lot of kindness from a lot of people," he said.

The Salem Relay for Life goal is to raise $144,000.

For more information on Relay for Life, visit the website here.