2014 Honorary Chair - Peggy Ullrich of Lake Park, Minn., and Becky Kaiser of Dilworth, Minn.

Hannah Linz

Peggy Ullrich’s life came to an abrupt halt after her annual mammogram in the fall of 2013. A lump was discovered on her breast and tests confirmed it was cancer.

“I was just so shocked when I heard that it was breast cancer,” Peggy said.

But sadly, that wasn’t the only shock Peggy would experience that week. The next day her 36-year-old daughter, Becky Kaiser, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

“I knew that something wasn’t right when Dr. Tinguely asked me to come to her office,” Becky said. “But I was not expecting cancer.”

Two small ovarian cysts were first identified during an ultrasound of her second pregnancy. Sanford Fargo OB/GYN Christina Tinguely, MD, became more concerned after the cysts didn’t disappear following the birth of Becky’s daughter.

“I had a very simple surgery to get them removed, and I kind of thought that would be the end of it,” Becky said.

However, Dr. Tinguely told her the news and Becky had a hysterectomy five days later.

As both mother and daughter faced a cancer diagnosis and months of treatment, they stuck together.

To show their appreciation for the Roger Maris Cancer Center, Peggy and Becky agreed to be the 2014 61for61 Honorary Chairs for the annual campaign to raise funds for the Roger Maris Cancer Center and represent others whose lives have been touched there. Gifts will support cancer care, research, survivorship and special programs at the Roger Maris Cancer Center so more patients and their families can have enriched experiences in their journey of health and healing.

To learn more about 61for61 or to make a gift, visit OnlineBillboard or call (701) 234-6246.

2013: Hannah Linz, Watkins, MN

Hannah Linz has battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma not once, but twice, all the while keeping her spirits up and continuing to live her life as a college student and basketball player at North Dakota State University. She graduated from NDSU in May 2014 and is pursuing her career in nursing.

2012: Jacob Greenmyer, Stirum, ND

Jacob battled lung cancer as a high school student and now attends the University of North Dakota pursing a medical degree. He hopes to provide the same great care he experienced at the Roger Maris Cancer Center to his own patients one day.

2011: Ryan Haug, Fargo, N.D.

Ryan Haug, Fargo, N.D. served as the 2011 Honorary Chair. A cancer survivor, Ryan leads a fulfilling life that includes wife Tasha, a career in bio-med equipment at Sanford, playing music and running marathons.

2010: Jane Gillund, Fargo, N.D.

Jane Gillund outwardly represents what it means to be a "survivor," and is well qualified for the 2010 Honorary Chair. Jane has been fighting metastatic breast cancer since she was first diagnosed in 1999.

2009: Jodie Waclaw, Wahpeton, N.D.

Jodie Waclaw of Wahpeton, N.D. is a cancer survivor and served as the 2009 Honorary Chair. Jodie says that her journey to become a survivor was positive because of the Roger Maris Cancer Center. They were able to give her the tools to keep her alive.

2008: Gabe Roach, Fargo, N.D.

Gabe Roach of Fargo, N.D. served as the 2008 Honorary Chair for the annual Home Run/Walk. Gabe participated in many Home/Run Walk events to honor his friends and relatives.

2007: Pamela Solseng, Fargo, N.D.

Pamela Solseng of Fargo, N.D. was diagnosed and hospitalized with ovarian cancer on her college graduation day in May 2006. She had just completed her nursing degree, only to find herself as a patient instead. Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center has partnered with Pam every step of the way, meeting both her medical and emotional needs.

2006: Barb Hansen, Hillsboro, N.D.

Barb Hansen of Hillsboro, N.D., is not a stranger to cancer. Many of her closest friends and family have struggled with the disease. Some, like her mother, are survivors. Other loved ones, including her grandmother and father, lost their lives in the battle. In April 2006, Barb, too, was diagnosed with cancer and began a fight of her own.

2005: Dr. Cathy Breedon, Moorhead, Minn.

Dr. Cathy Breedon of Moorhead, Minn. knows all too well the importance of exceptional cancer research, treatment and care-not only because it relates to her job, but because it saved her life. Seven years ago, cancer became personal for Cathy as she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer with a poor prognosis. Because of the expertise available at the Roger Maris Cancer Center, and especially that of oncologist Dr. Gerald Gross, she was able to obtain an equally aggressive treatment to match. Today she remains cancer free.

2004: Cynde Kollar-Schwartzman, Fargo, N.D. (co-chair)

Cynde Kollar-Schwartzman, of Fargo, N.D. is Honorary Co-Chair of the 2004 Home Run. She works as a Coding Analyst in the Reimbursement Department at Sanford in Fargo. In 2002, she was involved in a research program through the Roger Maris Cancer Center. Cynde has been very involved in the Home Run over the past several years, taking part in the 2-Mile Walk, the motorcycle ride and the phone bank. She participates in the 61for61 to celebrate the survival of her father, who has been cancer-free for 13 years, her sister, who has been cancer-free for 10 years, and her good friend, Diana Johnson, who just recently overcame breast cancer.

2004: John Whartnaby, Moorhead, Minn. (co-chair)

John Whartnaby is the dean at Oak Grove Middle School and a professor at Concordia College. He is also the assistant coach of Concordia's varsity men's basketball team. He was chosen to be an Honorary Co-Chairperson because of his own experience with cancer research. Two years ago, John was diagnosed with melanoma. Since then, he has been participating in a national study on melanoma research through the Cancer Center, where he went through three months of aggressive chemotherapy.

2003: Peg Knudson, Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Peg Knudson, of Detroit Lakes, Minn. and assistant general manager at Ameripride Services in Fargo, is Honorary Chairperson of the 2003 Home Run. In past years, Peg has participated in the Home Run to honor the memory of her friend and to celebrate her mother's survival.

2002: Byrum Cartwright, Fargo, N.D.

Byrum Cartwright was involved in the Home Run in past years through the Fargo-Moorhead Rotary Club, never thinking that he would ever set foot inside the Roger Maris Cancer Center as a patient. But on March 22, 2001, after a lump removed from his neck proved cancerous, he underwent six months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments at the Roger Maris Cancer Center.

2001: Deb Jenkins, Fargo, N.D.

Deb Jenkins is the Honorary Chairperson of the 2001 Home Run. Deb, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 and underwent a year of treatment at Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center, has been cancer-free since 1994. Deb is definitely leading a full life. She is the lead singer of the Deb Jenkins band, promotes new artists through her company, Great Hearts Plus Productions, and owns and operates TSW Catering.

Previous Chairs

  • Maret Worwa (2000)
  • Scott Miller (1999)
  • Emily Nerland (1998)
  • Kathy Burgau (1997)
  • Matt Andvik (1996)
  • Julie Ystebo (1995)
  • Jill Ferguson (1994)