The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 10, 2013

Benefit planned to celebrate friendship, life

By AMINA KHAN
Star Beacon

AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP — There is nothing quite like a best friend and 10 years ago, Amanda Jones met hers.

While working at a local salon, she was introduced to Robyn Ruland Wright, a nail technician at the salon and the two became friends instantly.

“She couldn’t get rid of me,” Jones said.

Their friendship continued to grow year after year.

“She was in my wedding nine years ago,” she said. “We were pregnant together.”

During all of the good times and all of the bad times, they were always there for each other, Jones said, but it’s during the tough times when a girl needs her best friends the most.

Three years ago, Wright was diagnosed with adrenal cancer. This wasn’t Wright’s first bout with cancer though. During her senior year of high school at Geneva High School, Wright was diagnosed with Hodgekin’s lymphoma.

She may have won the battle with lymphoma, but it was her recent bout that got the best of her.

As her cancer worsened, Wright just wanted to party and celebrate life with her friends and loved ones. So her friends rallied together to throw her the party she wanted and to help her family with some of the medical expenses.

Jones with the help of a number of friends organized a benefit dinner at Jewel’s Dance Hall for Nov. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. The benefit will feature a rigatoni and meatball dinner and Chinese auction. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Chinese auction tickets can be purchased at the event.

As plans for the dinner began to come together, Wright’s condition deteriorated. Two weeks ago, Jones said Hospice was called in to assist with her care, but she was still planning to party with her friends next weekend.

Sadly, Wright lost her fight Friday afternoon at the age of 39, just one week before her party. She leaves behind her husband of 13 years, David, and her 8-year-old son, Benjamin. Wright is also survived by her parents Rheta and Ronald Ruland, her brothers Ryan and Remington Ruland and her friends.

“She was the most loving, boisterous, happy person ever,” Jones said. “We had a lot of good times.”

Jones said she feels blessed to have been able to meet such a spectacular person.

“I was lucky to have her,” she said.