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Thursday, June 26, 2014 - Teen Races Her Saturn SL2 to Honor Grandfather

Teen Races Her Saturn SL2 to Honor Grandfather
Rheanna’s RACE raises funds for Munson cancer patients, families

Rheanna Doberstein climbs into her 1999 Saturn SL2 most Friday nights at Cherry Raceway and tries to leave the competition in her dust.

The 16-year-old started racing at the track in 2011.

“Once I get out there I totally forget about everything,” she said. “It’s a total stress reliever. It gives me something to do with my dad and it is something I did with my grandpa. It was kind of like a bonding thing.”

Her grandfather, Ron Doberstein, taught her how to drive. He died on Jan. 15, 2014, after a battle with prostate cancer. Rheanna now is racing to fulfill a dream her grandfather had to help cancer patients and their families.

“It was my grandfather’s dream to make people aware of cancer and he wanted to start a fundraiser to help the local cancer patients pay for expenses that they are not able to pay for while going through treatments,” she said.

With assistance from the Munson Healthcare Regional Foundation, Rheanna has launched a fundraiser called Rheanna’s RACE (Rally Against Cancer Expenses) to raise money for Munson Healthcare’s Patient Needs Fund. She is looking for donors to pledge money for each lap she completes at the raceway this season, to buy a memorial sticker created in memory of her grandfather, or make a one-time gift.

She started racing Friday, May 23, and will race Fridays and some Saturdays through the season. A special race on Aug. 22 will be dedicated to the memory of her grandfather, called the Ron Doberstein Sr. 4Cyc Cancer Special.

Donations can be made at munsonhealthcare.org/rheannasrace or the Members Credit Union under Rheanna’s RACE.

“My goal is to raise $10,000 for cancer patients,” she said. “One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to cancer patients.”

Weekly updates on Rheanna’s races can be found on her Facebook page called Rheanna’s Race.