The sea of purple t-shirts lined the Lake Stevens High School track at 6:25 p.m. on Friday, May 10 as cancer survivors were honored and ready to walk the official first lap for the third annual Relay for Life of Lake Stevens.
“This whole thing is really emotional for us (survivors),” Wilma Daniels said. She is celebrating 39 years cancer free this year.
Relay for Life does many different things for many different people who have been touched by cancer. For some it is an opportunity to celebrate a loved one’s winning battle. For others it gives them an opportunity to raise money to fight this dreaded disease. And still others use this experience to remember loved ones lost over the years or those who are currently fighting.
“It is sad because I am remembering my grandma who passed away a year ago. But it is also making me really happy to see all the survivors,” Breanna Finch said. She lost her grandmother a year ago from ovarian cancer.
Opening ceremonies included the National Anthem sung by Miss Aquafest 2012-2013, Alliyah Riggen and a dance routine performed by the young PacWest Dancers to Kelly Clarkson’s song, “Stronger”. American Legion Post 181 provided the Color Guard for the third year.
Music played throughout the 22-hour event, thanks to DJ Bob Justice who kept the crowd moving. There was also a pancake breakfast served at 6 a.m. by the Lake Stevens Kiwanis Club.
Hundreds of Relayers joined forces and raised over $60,000 this year alone.
The American Cancer Society also held their Cancer Prevention Study 3 campaign during this year’s event. Participants and their family and friends were asked to join in this study by filling out an information sheet and giving blood in the CPS3 tent set-up for Friday night.
The two previous studies done by the American Cancer Society found the links between smoking and obesity and cancer.
“It took thirty seconds to take my blood and it will help fight cancer in the future, that’s what this is about, what this whole event is about. We are happy to be here and happy to do whatever we can do,” Shelley Lavering, whose mother-in-law is fighting breast cancer said.
If you would still like to donate to the third annual Relay for Life of Lake Stevens you can visit www.relayforlife.org/lakestevenswa to do so. The 2013 event will not close until August 31, 2013.