Instead of heading up to Quaker Steak and Lube at The Highlands on Sunday for football, people came together at a carnival for a cause.
It was a sea of gold as the Steelers played on the televisions, but people at Quaker Steak and Lube were supporting childhood cancer awareness.
“This is something you don’t see, you don’t see childhood cancer events. And here we are in September, we’ve got one, we’ve got people around, great events, and it’s pretty exciting,” said Liz Stephens, mother of the late Randy Stephens.
“I would never live in another place. The Ohio Valley is the greatest place to be,” said Laura Rotriga, aunt of Hines Rotriga.
The two Ohio Valley families are connected by their sons’ battles with cancer. The Stephens honored their son, Randy, who passed in 2013, and the Rotriga’s remain upbeat as their little four-year-old Hines keeps fighting.
“Sometimes I think my motivation comes because I want to make Randy proud of what his mother did with not just his mother but his family with our lives after he left us,” Liz said. She said Randy created his legacy himself, and she couldn’t be prouder of what a wonderful young man he was.
Rotriga added, “I mean Hines is as smart as a tack you know. He gets it every time. He makes us laugh.”
The two boys have captured the hearts of so many, evident Hope for Hines shirts everywhere. People were nothing short of generous when it came to bidding on prizes and playing carnival games. Liz said being at the carnival and raising awareness of other kids battling cancer, like Hines, is what Randy would have wanted.
Hines is currently in New York receiving treatment, which is challenging for his parents, who are traveling back and forth. They hope in six months after further treatments, he will reach no evidence of disease.