Highland News Leader

Highland Relay for Life: Chairwoman reflects on her late sister’s battle with cancer

Chris and Joy Krouper hold up a picture taken of Joy with her sister, Sarah Limestall. Sarah succumbed to caner on Jan. 4, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland, surrounded by her family. She was just 31 years old.
Chris and Joy Krouper hold up a picture taken of Joy with her sister, Sarah Limestall. Sarah succumbed to caner on Jan. 4, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland, surrounded by her family. She was just 31 years old. News Leader

A day doesn’t go by when Joy Krouper doesn’t think about her sister, Sarah Limestall.

“I still cry a lot, and I still don’t sleep too much,” she said.

Sarah died on Jan. 4, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland, surrounded by her family. She was just 31 years old.

Krouper, along with her family and friends, are keeping her memory alive by participating at American Cancer Society’s Highland Relay for Life events.

Krouper will be chairing next month’s walk, which will be held July 10-11 at Glik Park in Highland.

This will be the second year that Krouper and her “Sarah Stay Strong” team have participated in the walk without Sarah at their side.

“Everyboy says (grieving) gets easier (over time),” Krouper said. “…But I don’t know how I’m going to even talk at this relay. I might just have to turn my back to the crowd and cry.”

Krouper said her sister loved walking in the 2012 and 2013 events. She recalled how Sarah, while waging her own fight against cancer, would lift up the spirit of others by reciting Bible verses or having some other uplifting words for them.

In September 2011, Sarah was diagnosed with stage 1 cancer. In December 2013, following further testing, doctors found stage 4 uterine cancer. Her chemotherapy on those tumors started three days before Christmas. She was scheduled to begin radiation therapy upon her completion of chemo, but she would only live a couple more weeks.

Her family and friends later joined Angel Forces with the American Cancer Society’s Highland Relay for Life to create a team in her honor, Sarah’s Angels.

Last year, they renamed their team to Sarah Strong. The name is fitting.

“Sarah was an inspiration to a lot of people,” Krouper said, while holding a picture taken of the two of them recently together. “She always told people she was going to beat this and win her battle.”

In addition to her sister, Sarah is survived by her parents, Kevin and Ellen Limestall of Highland; a brother, Matthew Limestall; paternal grandmother, Betty Limestall; aunts and uncles, Beverly (Bjorn) Lindgren, Brenda Limestall, Susan Limestall, Owen Saathoff; special aunt, Linda Ferrell; special nieces and nephews, special friends and several cousins.

Sarah Limestall was a member of Faith Bible Chapel Mid-West, Collinsville. Church was a very big part of her life; she would volunteer to babysit the children in daycare during services.

Krouper said she now finds strength by going to church, and from her husband.

“But there is still not a day that goes by when I don’t think about Sarah,” she said.

Highland Relay for Life is July 10-11

The communitywide Relay for Life will be held at Glik Park on July 10, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. and continuing until 2:30 a.m. the next morning.

The event will feature a variety of activities and competitions to raise funds for the American Cancer Society, celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost to cancer and raise awareness of cancer and ways to try to prevent the disease. Throughout the evening’s activities, each team keeps at least one member walking on the track.

The theme of this year’s Relay is “Luau for Life.” The committee’s goal is to raise $100,000, have at least 15 returning teams and five new teams, and 110 survivors participating at the Relay.

This will be the 31st year for Relay for Life and the 11th year for the event in Highland.

The event kicks off with a free dinner for survivors and guests at 6 p.m. The opening ceremony and survivors lap begin at 7:30 p.m. Another highlight is the luminaria ceremony at 9 p.m. Activities continue throughout the night until the closing at 2:30 a.m.

Anyone interested in corporate sponsorship, registering a team, or serving on the steering committee, and are unable to attend the Kickoff, contact Joy Krouper, event chair, at (618) 409-7864, or email at joygirl1998@yahoo.com.

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