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Godfrey announced as 2019 Relay for Life honorary chair

By Staff | Mar 1, 2019

Sierra Godfrey was named as the honorary chair of the 2019 Jefferson County Relay for Life event. Godfrey, now 17, suffered ovarian cancer at age 12. Toni Milbourne

CHARLES TOWN – Sierra Godfrey, a 17-year-old who battled ovarian cancer at age 12, was introduced Saturday at the Jefferson County Relay for Life kickoff as this year’s honorary chair for the 2019 event.

Godfrey briefly shared her story with those gathered at the fundraising event, which served as the official start of the 2019 efforts to raise money to support cancer research.

“I was 12 years old,” Godfrey said, “playing basketball at Charles Town Middle School.” According to Godfrey, she was always active, but she seemed to be plagued with shortness of breath and some other basic cold symptoms she couldn’t get rid of.

“Our doctor sent me to have an ultrasound,” Godfrey said. “They found a mass in my pelvic area.”

Godfrey said she underwent multiple scans and ultrasounds, because the doctors wanted to completely rule out that she was pregnant.

“I was 12 years old,” she laughed. “I told them I was not pregnant.”

However, the pregnancy tests consistently returned a false positive, which is common when ovaries are involved, Godfrey explained.

Upon finally ruling out pregnancy, Godfrey said she went into surgery, where the mass was removed.

“It was Feb. 4, 2014,” she said. “And they discovered it was cancer.”

Godfrey had her right ovary removed, but thankfully did not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

“I am at the five-year cancer free mark,” she said. “This summer will be my last check up.”

She went on to explain there is a very small chance of her cancer returning.

“I feel like I shouldn’t have this role as chair, because I haven’t gone through what so many others went through,” Godfrey said, regarding her cancer treatments, which did not face extensive treatments with negative side effects.

“I had the surgery and they got it all,” Godfrey said. “But it means the world to me to serve. “I am blessed to be the face of the Relay this year.”

Godfrey serves on the Jefferson County Relay event leadership team, after becoming very involved in last year’s Relay for Life event.

“You just don’t realize how many people are going through this and dealing with some type of cancer,” Godfrey said. “It was a real eye-opener for me, seeing how many there are in this community.”

A member of the Barb’s Blessing relay team, Godfrey said she will speak at upcoming Relay events, including the opening ceremonies of the June 22 Relay for Life at Jefferson High School.

“On April 28, there is a survivor luncheon where I will speak also,” she added.

Those wishing to support Godfrey and her team, or the Jefferson County Relay for Life as a whole, can find out how to donate or join in the event, by logging into relay.scsevents.org and searching for the Jefferson County Relay for Life. On the website, one can join a team, donate or simply find out the schedule of the event, which takes place between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. at Jefferson High School’s football field and track area.