When Dori and Ernie Klockeman got married they promised to love each other in sickness and health. The Brooklyn Park couple have held true to that vow.
In 1992, Ernie was diagnosed with melanoma. Dori thought she might never see her soulmate again.
"He called me at work and said it's a Level 4 out of 5 melanoma. I thought, 'oh my God, I'm going to lose my husband.'"
Although it's been decades, Ernie still remembers the day he was told he had cancer.
"It's almost like a death sentence, you think that once you're diagnosed that you have no chance," said Ernie.
In 2005, Dori had a health scare of her own.
"I felt a lump in my throat. I went to the doctor and thought I had a sinus infection," said Dori.
The "sinus infection" turned out to be thyroid cancer.
"It was just very depressing to me and I didn't feel there was hope," she said.
Both Ernie and Dori had surgery to remove their cancerous tumors. While their scars have faded, the mark of cancer will forever remain.
"I can laugh about it now, but it was really scary at the time."
Dori and Ernie aren't the only ones on a quest to find a cure. This year 28,000 Minnesotans will be diagnosed with cancer. Events like Relay for Life raise money to help find a cure. But it also helps to give cancer patients something money can't buy hope.
"I know there's all kinds of people out there that you don't even know that are supporting you."
The relay for life is from tonight from 6 p.m. Friday (tonight) until 6 a.m. Saturday at Osseo High School.
About 300 people are registered. So far they've raised more than $50,000.
Sonya Goins, reporting
Friday, July 19, 2013