Sunshine on the Trail supports locals fighting cancer
The world can be a scary place right now if you’re living with cancer like Dina Langrehr. Even though she is cautious about protecting herself and her family from COVID-19, she doesn’t let her cancer run her life.
After finding a lump, Langrehr had a mammogram and a biopsy. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 at the age of 30.
She had a double mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy and radiation. Nearly two years later, her cancer had spread and the doctors told her it was incurable and she has been on some form of chemo or radiation ever since.
“It’s been almost 10 years. I feel okay and I’m still here. I’m very lucky because most people in my situation are not around after 10 years,” Langrehr said. “I attribute that to keeping busy and my son and there is always something to keep me going. I don’t just sit around and dwell on it.”
Langrehr graduated from Sparta High School in 2000 and attended cosmetology school in La Crosse right after. She now owns Rural Roots Salon, which is located off of Hwy 16 right on the Monroe/La Crosse County line, and she continues working as normal every day to ensure quality service for her clients.
She added that most people and most of her clients don’t have a clue she’s living with cancer.
Before she was diagnosed with cancer, Langrehr would donate to Sunshine on the Trail every year and would participate in its annual event when she could.
“They’re very good at keeping it local. I like that the money gets put back into the community,” she said. “I’ve donated to bigger organizations and I’ve never seen a thing out of all of that.”
Langrehr pointed out that she has had cancer for nearly 10 years and she’s never seen a dime out of the American Cancer Society. “Those bigger organizations don’t really give back,” she said. “Both SACS and Sunshine on the Trail have been very good to us.”
Sunshine on the Trail, which will host its annual event on October 10, is going curbside this year to ensure the safety of its supporters and recipients.
The event will be held at Bangor Village Park as usual, but participants will stay in their car as they stop at event stations. Committee members will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the park to collect donations and assist attendees.
With a donation of $25 or more, participants will receive a long-sleeved t-shirt and an attendance prize. Signature pork chops will be available starting at 10 a.m. until they are gone, at the cost of $5 per sandwich.
While in the park participants are asked to remain in their vehicle unless individuals decide to walk the trail for some social-distanced exercise. Community members are asked to take every precaution and the use of face coverings are highly encouraged.
There will be two 100-square boards available for $5 a square; each board has a handcrafted wooden item as one of the prizes. Brian Youngs has donated a handmade wooden bench and Alex Mashak has crafted and donated a raised herb bed.
In addition, each board will have a technology-based prize and a tied blanket basket.
Please refer any questions to the following committee members: Deb Gerke at (608) 792-6339, Emily Gerke at (608) 792-7326, Joanne Mashak at (608) 486- 2635, Katie Huffman at (608) 769- 0807, Julie Linhart at (608) 769-3615, Cheri Horstman at (608) 486-2147, Patty Gjertsen at (608) 780-7458, Rosemary Hansen at (608) 486-2022 and Shari Axelsenat (608) 486-2747.
“You don’t know how generous people are until you’re on the receiving end. Maybe you just give a minute amount, but if everybody gives a minute amount, it adds up to be a lot,” Langrehr said. “Everyone gives what they can give. I donate hair products or haircuts, something that people would like and I always offer to talk to someone who’s been diagnosed in our community if they need it to give them a little hope.”