Relay for Life 2005
Caldwell County unites to find a cure
By LPR Staff
Luminarias surround the track, paying tribute to Caldwell County”s dozens of friends, family members and residents who have fought the battle. Though many have triumphed and many are still fighting honorably, too many have lost the war.
The battle the candles signify is the ba
ttle against cancer.
On Friday night, April 15, hundreds of Caldwell County students, citizens and survivors will unite at the Lockhart Junior High School track to participate in Lockhart”s fourth annual Relay for Life, benefiting the American Cancer Society (ACS).
“”Relay” is the one of the most significant ACS fundraisers,” said Gwynda Miranda, Lockhart”s Relay for Life chairperson, and herself a cancer survivor. “In its 20-year history, relay has raised more than $1 billion to fund cancer research.”
On the local level, Relay for Life has grown exponentially since it”s first appearance in 2001. The first year, 13 relay teams raised almost $13,000. Last year, 32 teams participated and raised $35,000. This year, Miranda hopes the event will raise $50,000 or more.
“ACS spends more than $100 million in research each year, but they”re still only able to fund 13 percent of the grant proposals they receive,” she said. “The cure could be sitting in the other 87 percent of proposals.”
Miranda was diagnosed with cancer in April 1998 at the age of 29. Seven years later, she still has a clean bill of health.
“I”ve been involved with Relay for Life for four years because I”m a survivor – so I thought,” she said. “I recently discovered in a Relay leadership conference about what ACS has contributed to research [through funds raised during Relay for Life]. The funds… are contributing to the development and awareness of the… very pap test that saved my life. I”ll be a “Relayer” for life!”
Another dedicated Relay participant, Annie Anton, brings with her a heart-wrenching, yet equally important reason for participation. She lost her mother to the disease in February 2004.
“It was cancer and all of the tests proved it,” she said. “I asked myself, “Why her? Why MY mom?” How could someone suffer from such a life-taking disease when they had so much to lose – their family, their dreams, their laughter, their love, their life. I had no idea.”
After two years of treatment and a remission, Annie”s mother received the terrifying news that the cancer had invaded her liver. Annie was 14 when her mother passed away.
“I knew,” she said. “I knew she would be gone and Dad”s heavy sobs as he stumbled into my room at 3:30 that morning told me I knew.”
This year, Annie is leading a Relay team, and has already raised a significant sum for the event, Miranda said.
Lockhart”s Relay for Life event will begin Friday at 7 p.m. at Lockhart Junior High School and will last until 7 a.m. on Saturday April 16. Teams that have not yet registered are welcome to do so at the school that evening. For those who are unable to walk the required laps around the track “rocking stations” will be set up. In the “rocking stations” participants can rock in a chair for a designated period of time to earn their sponsorships. There will also be a variety of fundraising games, activities and concessions.
“In the past years, there has been a lot of fun involved with Relay,” Miranda said. “This year, we want to have fun, but we want to bring it back to reminding us why we”re there.”
For additional information on the event, contact Miranda at 398-0298.