Hundreds turned out to the Picton Fairgrounds Friday night for the 9th annual Relay for Life - a night to bring community together, share stories, not just sadness and tears, but also tales of joy and remarkable strength. With its Hawaiian theme, the "Re-Lei For A Cure" event attracted visitors from throughout the country.
Emily Tier was one such visitor. Everybody associated with this fundraiser has their own personal reason of why they relay. A CT scan also showed spots in her lungs.
"If it wasn't for (the community), I don't think it would have been as easy for me", breast cancer survivor Jo Ellis said.
A total of 75 cents of every dollar raised go towards program services, including cancer research, patient support services, prevention information and education, and early detection and treatment.
And after Friday's showing of approximately 1,500 people, there will certainly be more help for cancer victims. Every time I come back, we have more survivors.
"But what really matters are the names on these Luminaria bags".
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On June 8 starting at 4 p.m., the Relay for Life 2018 events will kick-off at Minot State University.
Those who've battled the disease say "hope" is what sustained them through their journey.
"The relay is important, because it's so empowering to those who've been diagnosed", Hetzler said, who is an eight-year survivor of breast cancer. But it's not a battle she fights alone. There kept being other options, another clinical trial.
It's been almost two decades since this worldwide movement came to Logan County, and for many, it has become an annual tradition to come together to enjoy a night of fun and fellowship, celebrating those who have beaten cancer and those who are going through the battle, as well as honoring their caregivers and remembering those who lost their lives to this dreaded disease.
"I'm a survivor since 1975". I had someone who invited me. "I am so happy I was able to do it", said Wozniak, a Relay participant of four years.
"This year, we had approximately 40 teams that registered", said event co-chair Belinda Anderson, who herself is a cancer survivor. "It is wonderful. A lot of work, it is great". This year's speaker for the opening ceremony will be cancer survivor Dan Brooks of Peru. She added, "Come, enjoy, meet the people that are helping everyone, there is always hope". "Things like the American Cancer Society support those people who don't have the help", said Meeker.