Long Locks Chopped As Relay For Life Begins

Severe thunderstorm warnings did nothing to prevent more than 150 cancer survivors, as well as hundreds of family, friends, and supporters, from kicking off this year's Miami County Relay for Life in high spirits. "One of the big things we're seeing is that we have designated survivor parking beside the survivor tent this year and suddenly it is a lot more accessible for people to come", says Aimee Cassie, Relay for Life Coordinator.

Wellington said knows people sometimes grow tired of annual fundraising events, or believe they've given enough.

I relay for my spouse who developed thyroid cancer in 2006.

"I was a very healthy individual and did not understand how this could be", she said, "but I never asked myself 'Why me?'". "So this is personal, it's a personal battle".

Cooper says while her scans are now clear, her journey could be long from over, but shes choosing to stay optimistic.

Mr Farrington said there are many things that keep him coming back year after year.

"This journey began on September 22, 2015 when I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia". "The American Cancer Society focuses on research and without that research, we do not get new cures or treatments".

"This experience has shaped me and changed me all ways possible".

"It saves people like me, and it could save you". I Relay because I recently spoke to over 500 4th, 5th and 8th graders and 98% of them knew someone with Cancer! "It doesn't matter if they were diagnosed 10 days ago or 10 years ago, we honour and celebrate their strength and courage with every step they take", says Farrow. How do you find motivation?

"It hit hard when Tom died because he was so young", said Jean.

When the survivors and their caregivers made a second lap together, the teams roared even louder as the walkers laughed and even danced in the street. Other laps continued throughout the night and included the amusing hat lap, the meet your neighbour lap, the people mache lap and the carnival parade lap. Mark Despault of The Frere Brothers opened the evening's entertainment.

The County School of Dance performed a number of charming dances, ballet and singing routines including delightful renditions of "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two" from Oliver, and Mary Poppins' "A Spoonful of Sugar". Local businesses who have gone out of their way to ensure our event is a huge success year after year. Funds are needed on an on-going basis to finance research especially, but also drug trials. Participants can raise money as a part of a team or individually. After dark, an always moving Luminaria Ceremony to acknowledge everyone touched by a cancer will be held.

The 12-hour event will feature fun, food and friendship and is geared to people of all ages.

"I had my annual physical scheduled for April, and when my husband insisted, I moved it up and went in", Hart said. But money raised also goes to fund our programming, including volunteer drivers.

"Newtown has such a wonderful and supportive close-knit community of survivors and caregivers", he said.

So far over $85,000 has been raised in Ripley County for the American Cancer Society. I hope you will join us at Relay For Life on June 22 and show your support for this most worthy cause.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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