Tucker hosts Relay For Life event

Tucker County community members gathered Saturday to help raise funds and awareness for the fight against cancer, and to support friends, family and neighbors celebrating another year of survivorship.

The walk is a way for organizations and volunteers in the community to come together in teams to raise money for cancer research and treatment. Each team member takes turns walking around the track throughout the entire event, symbolizing that the fight for cancer never stops.

Coordinator April Suesli said she was pleased with the turnout.

“We had more than 30 survivors to pre-register for the event, so we will probably have more like 50 in attendance,” Suesli said. “Our county may be small, but we are mighty dedicated to the fight against cancer. Everyone here is planning on having a wonderful day.”

Davis Health System sponsors a reception for cancer survivors and their loved ones before the Relay. The gathering affords survivors the opportunity to meet with other survivors to celebrate life and know they are not the only ones who beat the disease.

“The reception is my favorite part of the whole thing,” said American Cancer Society Community Manager Mike Alkire. “It gives a celebration to survivors and their caregivers. Sometimes in the shuffle during cancer, caregivers are looked over – these husbands, wives, sons and daughters have a whole other job. This event gives the opportunity to celebrate all caregivers give to those in the battle against cancer.”

All survivors at Tucker County Relay For Life received a T-shirt, survivor pin and a bag of goodies.

Survivor Roxanne Bright, of Weston, said she celebrates survivorship in Tucker County because all of her family lives there.

“I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago,” Bright said. “My family helped get me through my battle with cancer.”

She said she enjoys coming to the Relay.

“I can do this walk and raise money and awareness,” Bright said. “My goal is to make sure children and others do not have to go through what I went through, to know the signs and symptoms and be tested early. Relay For Life is such a worthwhile cause.”

Bright said this was her second Relay event.

“My biggest reason for being here is to raise money for research and to let others know to fight back against cancer,” she said. “I fought back and I kicked cancer’s butt, and others can do it as well. It also gives me the chance to meet with other survivors – we can empathize with each other because we have been there. I also celebrate that God has blessed me. This is a big deal – cancer grows every day and we need not to be afraid of it, because it is not going away. We need to be stronger than cancer; we need to rise up and beat cancer.”

Parsons Mayor Dorothy Judy was at the Relay For Life, helping sell luminaries.

“Our county is made up of a hard-working bunch of great people,” Judy said. “Tucker County Relay For Life brings the community together to work for a very worthy cause.”

The goal for the Tucker County Relay For Life this year was to raise $25,000.

More information is available online at www.relayforlife.org.