In Memory

Lynn Bender (Knox) - Class Of 1980

1980 grads Stride in friend's memory

Since the day in August 2011 when his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Bruce Knox has worn a teal-colored band on his right wrist and hoped someone will ask about its purpose.

Knox's wife, Lynn Bender Knox, a 1980 graduate of Whitehall-Yearling High School, died from ovarian cancer March 9. She was 52.

On Sunday, Sept. 13, Knox joined five of his late wife's classmates and one of their daughters in theOvarian Cancer Alliance of Ohio "Strides for Hope" 5K walk and run in downtown Columbus.

"It was a tough day. I had to take a few moments for myself several times," said Knox.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Knox joined his wife and her classmates in the Strides for Hope events as she underwent intermittent chemotherapy treatments.

This was the first year he teamed with his late wife's classmates to walk in memory of his wife, and all wore matching T-shirts printed for the event that read: "I wear teal for Lynn Knox (1962-2015)."

Knox said he was pleased to have the opportunity at the event to thank the staff from the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital. Now 63, Knox lives in Westerville.

Knox said his wife received a late diagnosis of ovarian cancer because early indicators were misread as symptoms of menopause.

Chemotherapy provided occasional respite but always became necessary again, Knox said.

At the time of her diagnosis, she was told her cancer was terminal and she could expect to live about three to four years, Knox said.

Late last year, the family agreed the chemotherapy provided diminishing results and stopped the treatments.

"We had Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve (last year)," said Knox.

She entered a hospice program at their Westerville residence early this year and composed her own obituary, Knox said.

"We loved to watch Jeopardy! together and it was one of the last things we did," said Knox, who married Lynn in April 1988 after a six-month courtship.

Knox said he went to the once well-known Columbus bar Sylvia's Back Door with an insistent business client after a larger group had dispersed and there, after being told Lynn was trying to draw his attention, asked her to dance.

The song that served as their first dance, widely popular in 1987, was (I've Had) the Time of My Life,from the film Dirty Dancing.

"Six months later, we were married," he said.

The couple has two children, Kyle, 29, and Maggie, 25.

Knox said a hairdresser recently asked him about his teal wristband and he was so pleased to explain its purpose.

"If I teach one person about it, and they or someone they tell sees a doctor (in time to get successful treatment), then I've done my purpose," Knox said.

Joining Knox at this year's Strides for Hope were Dublin resident Kim Wolman and Karen Conison, a Whitehall City Council member.

"Lynn organized our class reunions," said Wolman, who walked with her in each of the three years she participated in Strides for Hope.

Lynn's family and friends did not participate in the event in 2014.

"My daughter (Kim Burton) and I wanted to keep it going so through (social media), we got people together who either wanted to walk or donate," Wolman said.

"We were friends since junior high school. And even after I lived out of state (temporarily) and we didn't talk for a few months, it was always as if I'd talked to her yesterday," Wolman said.

Joining Knox, Wolman, Burton and Conison at Strides for Hope were classmates Gabriella Rupert, James George and Carolyn Booths Banister