Adult sports – Marian Farris |

Adult sports – Marian Farris

The Union StaffFarris
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Last year, Grass Valley resident Marian Farris went to the Barbara Schmidt Millar Celebration of Life triathlon with the heaviest of hearts.

Her sister, Dianne LaMountain, was stricken with breast cancer in Richmond, Va. Farris’ team, LaMountain Mamas, participated in the 2001 triathlon. Farris lent her support to the team, unable to compete last year due to bronchitis.

This year, the news of her sister could not be better. After dire warnings that she might not live to see 2002 because the cancer had spread to her liver, lungs and bones, Dianne’s cancer halted its progress, baffling her doctors while bringing great joy to family and friends. Dianne was in remission by Christmas time.

Farris said it is the kind of story that should bring hope to those in the battling the scourge, the kind of story that should be included among the many that were shared Sunday at this year’s triathlon.

“I felt like the purpose behind the whole race was hope and coming together and being support for one another,” Farris said. “I don’t know how many women in the event had been touched with having cancer, but it is a widespread thing.”

This year, Farris and teammates Sandra Brown (swimming), Kelly Christopher (running) and Marilyn Rohrbacher (cycling) were among the 350 women who participated in the event, named in honor of Barbara Schmidt Millar, who lost her battle with breast cancer.

Farris, who was battling a respiratory infection Sunday, rode in tandem with Rohrbacher for part of the cycling portion of the event. LaMountain Mamas finished 16th out of the 50 teams that participated.

“It is my mission, per se, to every year participate in the event,” Farris said. “Whether that is riding a bike, or being a volunteer, I want to be there.”

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