Relay for Life organizer all too familiar with cancer diagnosis

Derry mum of two who lost husband to cancer taking part in Relay for Life to show kids there can be life after the disease

Pirates are famous for coveting fancy jewels and golden doubloons, but such bounties were far from the minds of one such crew on Saturday.

Lindsey Hanley is the event's Staff Partner from the American Cancer Society.

Kendra Bargen, sponsorship chair of the event, has been active in the relay for eight years.

Teams participating in the walk also set up booths along the track, providing games and other activities throughout the night.

The five-year cancer survival rate has almost tripled since the 1940s.

Dashnay, who's been involved with the relay in some capacity since it first began in Quinte West five years ago, said her journey started in high school, when her father was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Dee McCahill, of Million Dollar Fitness, says she has been overwhelmed by the support amongst her members.

"It was such a moving event for me", she said.

Each year, the relay has a different theme. The fundraising goal was $50,000.

"It was hard for me", she said". This very moving ceremony honors and remembers love ones that were lost to cancer.

For Russ, the relay presents an opportunity to reflect on the lives of both Pam and his brother, Roderick "Rod" Pochop, who died of cancer at age 37 in 1994.

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Cancer survivor, Jackie Bush told us, "I am a 15 year, three-time cancer survivor".

"Hopefully, we'll raise around $90,000", Miller said.

Dalton Robinson, 17, of Ford City is a survivor of retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer.

"I hope there's a cure found in my lifetime", she said.

Cancer survivors and caregivers gather for a pre-event photo. "The thing about cancer is that it touches everyone; the disease touches every family".

"This event means a lot to us", he said. "It's an emotional day, and it's also an exciting day because you're celebrating lives".

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

She said she was at work when she received the call telling her she had cancer.

Burchell, 17, of North Huntingdon said she was honored to be asked to perform.

Living that optimism is another thread that connects all affected by cancer, according to Relay For Life Volunteer Event Lead Jeff May, who added that the unity of all participants continues to inspire.

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