Nebo Re­lay for Life

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By Lorene Moore

The Salem Hills High School foot­ball sta­dium came alive on the night of June 20, with cancer sur­vivors, care­givers, fam­i­lies and friends at the Nebo Re­lay For Life.

“We’re all here be­cause we’ve felt cancer’s st­ing,” said Kelly Mitchell, event co-chair. “I don’t want my daugh­ter or any other chil­dren to have to loose their moth­ers to cancer like I did.”

Dawn Davis, the evening’s event chair, learned how much cancer im­pacts a fam­ily when her son was di­ag­nosed with it. “Par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Re­lay For Life helps each of us see we are not help­less. We can fight back and we can do it re­mark­able ways.”

The Re­lay For Life is the largest fundrais­ing event for the Amer­i­can Cancer So­ci­ety. Held in cities around the world re­lays al­low com­mu­ni­ties to come to­gether to bat­tle this dis­ease that has im­pacted so many.

Cancer sur­vivors kick off the re­lay with a sur­vivor lap as their fam­i­lies and friends line the track cheer­ing them on. For many cancer sur­vivors ev­ery step they take around the track re­claims the strength cancer has taken from them.

“Be­ing able to carry the ban­ner in the sur­vivor lap was very em­pow­er­ing for me,” said Diane Se­bring, a cancer sur­vivor of four years. “It kind of sur­prised me, I didn’t re­al­ize how much of my own power it had taken from me. Hold­ing that ban­ner as we walked felt like I was re­claim­ing it.”

Fol­low­ing their lap, cancer sur­vivors are joined on the track by their care­givers.

“I’ve felt the love and sup­port of my fam­ily,” Se­bring con­tin­ued. “I can’t help but think I might not be here if it weren’t for them.”

Businesses like Pa­cific States Cast Iron Pipe Com­pany, Pepsi Co., Gun­ner­son Den­tal, Nebo Com­fort Sys­tems and more formed teams in sup­port their co-work­ers, cus­tomers, and their fam­i­lies through their bat­tles with cancer.

One high­light of ev­ery year’s event is the Lu­mi­naria Cer­e­mony when the lights are turned off around the sta­dium and re­lay­ers walk the track lit by hun­dreds of can­dle lit lu­mi­naria bags dec­o­rated with mes­sages of love, sup­port and re­mem­brance for cancer pa­tients. This year’s cer­e­mony was made es­pe­cially poignant when Kelly Mitchell ded­i­cated it to the hus­band of a team mem­ber who was in the fi­nal stages of his strug­gle.

“It’s so hard when you put a name and a face to that kind of loss and you know how much they are hurt­ing be­cause you have felt the same pain,” said one au­di­ence mem­ber who lost her hus­band to cancer five years ago. “I don’t even know them, but I am pray­ing for them.”

“This year’s re­lay may be over, but the bat­tle against cancer isn’t,” added Davis. “You can help by go­ing to ne­bore­lay­for­ and donat­ing or join­ing our Face­book group, Nebo Re­lay For Life, and find­ing out about events we hold through­out the year.”

Sub­mit­ted by Lorene Moore

Brave guys “dressed up” and ran around the track in the Mr. Re­lay con­test to raise money.

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