Relay for Life goal to assist in cancer fight

Published 5:00 am Thursday, May 1, 2008

Organizers say Friday night’s Relay for Life will be a greattime for the whole family, and will strive to remind participantsand attendees that cancer doesn’t discriminate.

“The relay goes from 6 Friday night to 6 Saturday morning tosymbolize that cancer doesn’t sleep whether you’re the person withthe cancer or the caregiver providing care,” said Lincoln CountyRelay for Life Chairwoman Regina Terry. “Cancer is something thatdoesn’t discriminate. It can happen to any of us, at any age, atany time, in any type. It doesn’t matter who you are.”

Terry, who has had several family members with cancer and losther father to it in 2001, said Lincoln County’s Relay for Lifealways has a good turnout.

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“Everyone gets involved because they’ve experienced it or theyknow someone who’s experienced it,” she said. “Lincoln County hasdone an awesome job in keeping up with what’s going on, and we’vegrown every year with number of teams and people involved.”

The funds raised by Relay for Life, which include not only themoney collected by the more than 25 teams, but also ticket andconcessions income, go to cancer research, Terry said.

“What the American Cancer Society does with the funds isresearch,” she said. “The money we raise will hopefully one dayhelp fund the cure. It has funded mammograms and chemotherapy andradiation therapies for different cancer types already.”

The evening kicks off at 6 p.m. with a dinner for cancersurvivors.

Terry said invitations were sent to all the survivors that Relayfor Life officials are aware of. However, cancer survivors whodidn’t get invitations are also more than welcome to come.

“If you didn’t get an invitation, please come anyway,” Terrysaid. “It wasn’t that we didn’t want to invite you, it’s that weweren’t aware of you.”

Terry said the teams that are involved in Relay for Life aremade up of civic and church groups, businesses, families and otherorganizations. The groups set up tents and signs, and the ExchangeClub opens the rides until 10 p.m. There will be bands performing,as well as concessions being sold, Terry said.

“Once you go and participate, you’re kind of hooked, because noteverybody has the atmosphere we have here – it’s like the countyfair,” she said. “We continue the fundraising here during theevent, selling homemade ice cream, pies, pastries, chicken on astick, candied apples … the atmosphere is what makes it so muchfun.”

After 10 p.m., the relay continues, and those who lost theirbattle with cancer are memorialized.

“We have a service in honor of the people who didn’t win thefight,” she said. “The memory service is a real emotional time forthe people that participate.”

Terry said this is an important event for all the participants,as everyone is affected in one way or another by cancer in today’sworld.

“I’m very passionate about it, and you’re going to find thatsame love and compassion through every team member and everyone inLincoln County,” Terry said.