Our involvement in the Relay for Life goes far beyond general support for a local nonprofit organization. Our commitment to fighting back against cancer hits much closer to home. A few years ago, our firm administrator, Shirley Norquest, was diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis left Shirley and her family with many questions and few answers; it left our firm astonished that someone so close to us was affected by this terrible disease. But, like always, Shirley kept her spirits high and those around her even higher. Although she knew her diagnosis was grim, she never stopped fighting. Her strength and resilience inspired everyone around her. Early in 2011, Shirley and her best friend, Pam Kehl, a paralegal in our firm, decided it was time to fight back. They decided to participate in the Twin Valley Relay for Life, and the Forever Friends Team began.

As the team raised funds and held meetings about the event, Shirley continued her battle against cancer. In April 2011, two months before the relay, Shirley lost her fight against cancer. However, her spirit lives on, and today we relay in Shirley's memory. We also relay for one of our senior partners, Merv Heller, whose battle with colon cancer also hits very close to home. Merv's battle continues and reminds us just how hard it is to beat cancer once and for all. Through Shirley and Merv, as well as our experiences with many clients and their families who battle cancer, we have a greater appreciation of why cancer research is so important…and personal. Shirley's grace, courage and positive outlook, and Merv's determination, continue to inspire us and teach us to never give up.