MASSANUTTEN -- A valley woman loses her battle with a rare cancer, but those close to her are still helping others with the disease, even after she is gone.
Barb Winegord started a golf tournament four years ago to help pay for her expensive treatments for ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, her life was cut short in June.
"She was the sunshine," said Lisa Jenkins, Winegord's sister-in-law. "She lit up a room. She was very energetic, she went at things at full-speed. There was no stopping her."
The tournament continues, now in memory of a women those who knew call a fighter.
"Barb lived a long time with her cancer," said Winegord's doctor, gynecologic oncologist Dr. Linda Duska. "Part of that was Barb. She's a great lady, a really strong person..."
The tournament raises money for Winegord's oncology fund at UVA, helping pay for meals, gas and hotels for families with loved ones being treated.
"This fund really can ease the burden on families, so they can focus on their health and well-being and getting better, and not worry about finding the resources to make it to their appointments - so that's not their battle, their battle's cancer," said Jocelyn Lewis, with the UVA Medical Center.
The tournament also helps make sure women know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Dr. Duska said the signs are common: abdominal bloating, pelvic pressure and a change in bowel function. But if the symptoms last, Dr. Duska says, see a doctor.
Knowing the symptoms is a crucial step in dealing with a rare strain of cancer for which doctors do not have strong methods of early detection.
"Ovarian cancer doesn't have its mammogram," Lewis said.
That is why Winegord asked her family to continue the tournament - wanting to leave a legacy that reaches far beyond the links.
"That was her wish for us," Jenkins said: "to continue to push for women to know this information."
© Copyright 2013 WHSV / Gray Television Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.