Mother marches son at Relay for Life

The 2018 Comox Valley Relay for Life is set for June 9 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the Vanier track. Black Press file

The 2018 Comox Valley Relay for Life is set for June 9 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the Vanier track. Black Press file

They'll soon get started planning for next year.

The event kicked off at 4:00 PM with an opening ceremony which honors everyone who's been affected by cancer as well as anyone who has contributed to the success of this year's Relay season.

All the profits go to the American Cancer Society to be used in research.

She has now been given a clean bill of health and stands proudly with fellow cancer survivors as they walk tall along the Relay for Life pathway.

Founded in 1985 by Dr. Gordon Klatt in Tacoma, Washington, where the event raised $27,000, Relay For Life has raised over $5 billion worldwide. "It is very community orientated".

Her sister, Rita, has had cancer twice. She was their caregiver and dedicates her work in their memory.

According to the Relay For Life website, "Survivors and Caregivers are the heart and soul of Relay For Life events". Local restaurants including Biscotti's, Portofino's, New Fairfield Food Market, The Goodie Shop, Bruno's, Three Bothers, Elmer's Diner, Basilico's, and Dandy Foods donate food. "We are so blessed".

The event is at the St. Joseph County 4H grounds, where folks are taking their laps to raise money to fight cancer. We have nearly 200 survivors here, and over 40 great teams relaying in support of each other and in beating this disease.

The event included a meal before the relay, live entertainment including performances by The Brigadoons and McCulloch Dancers.

Residents, community organizations and businesses create teams to raise funds in various ways.

Amy was supported by the Irish Cancer Society during her treatment and as a result got involved in the Society's Relay For Life, Kildare. An impressive 58 High School students are on the committee. Each comes with a passion, a story and a dedication to finding a cure. "This year the St. Edwards Knights of Columbus did a great job collecting donations for their first year, " stated Patty.

While Sean Russell has only been on the Relay for Life in the Comox Valley organizing committee for a few years, he knows quite well how cancer changes the lives of those who receive the diagnosis. The community raised over 77-thousand dollars.

"The community has been absolutely incredible for us".

For the relay, each team was given a baton, the idea being that at least one member be walking on the track at any given time, the symbolism being that no one is facing cancer alone. "He didn't die of cancer, but I'm doing it in honor of him too".

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