by LINDA FRABL | photos by Spark Photography

Cancer Survivor

Legacy resident and Dingeman Elementary P.E. teacher Joy Schumacher was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 years ago. She conquered it, thanks in part to the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) services. Joy recalled, “ACS helped me tremendously. I was able to go to the ACS store to receive a wig and other supplies free of charge. I had access to a volunteer from the Reach to Recovery program who answered all of my questions. I also attended a free Look Good, Feel Better program, where volunteers taught cancer patients how to enhance their looks while going through chemotherapy and radiation.”

To show her thanks, Joy volunteers for ACS’s signature fundraising event, Relay for Life. At this event, teams of people take turns walking around a track for 24 hours to raise money for ACS while celebrating the survivors, remembering those who died of cancer, and dedicating themselves to the fight against cancer. Joy stated, “By volunteering, I am giving back to the organization, and bringing awareness to those who may not know of the many ways ACS can help and support them.”

volunteer_joy_1Name: Joy Schumacher
Community: Legacy area of Scripps Ranch
Volunteer Affiliation: Relay For Life (American Cancer Society)
Occupation: P.E. teacher for San Diego Unified
Family: Married, two grown children – Kaitie & Dominick
Hobbies: Baseball, softball, reading, jigsaws, word puzzles, Sudoku

Group: Relay For Life, American Cancer Society
Mission: The hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

Joy attended her first Relay for Life event 10 years ago in Rancho Bernardo, and she exclaimed, “It was such an uplifting experience that I returned to it every year.” That is, until Scripps Ranch started up its own Relay for Life five years ago. At that point, Joy started up a team of her own. Now she volunteers on the Relay for Life’s Event Leadership Team.

This year’s “Relay for Life of Scripps Ranch” will take place on Saturday, June 25 through 26 at the Scripps Ranch Community Park (see for more information). Prior to that, a Survivors and Caregivers Celebration will occur on Saturday, March 5 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Scripps Ranch Library, featuring catered food from Luna Grill (contact Amanda Weston at to RSVP).

As a mother to two grown children, Joy, a former competitive bowler, relaxes by watching Padres games, doing jigsaw and Sudoku puzzles, and hanging out at the beach. She adores Scripps Ranch for its central location and family-friendliness, and she emphasized, “I hope everyone in this community becomes involved in the Relay for Life. I’d like to at least double the number of participants, because many hands make light work. Let’s find a cure for and end cancer!”