‘It’s just a big part of my life and always will be’

Relay for Life seeks to raise money, awareness
Feb. 20, 2014 @ 08:59 PM

Relay for Life fundraising in Vance County is officially underway.

The American Cancer Society’s kick off for the fundraising program Thursday night at the Maria Parham Medical Center auditorium honored cancer survivors and featured speakers from the community who have benefited from Relay funds.

So far this year, 60 participants and 20 teams in the county have raised more than $3,000. Last year, Vance County raised $160,095 for Relay for Life.

“We are still looking for new teams to join and businesses to be co-sponsors and anybody who wants to be part of the Relay family to join a team and get active,” said James Baines, co-chairman of the Relay for Life in Vance County.

The American Cancer Society’s fundraising efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates since 1991 and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates.

Stephanie Ranes, a breast cancer survivor, spoke Thursday about why the fundraiser is important to her.

“I found a small knot and immediately that day went to the doctor,” Ranes said. “One week later, I had a mammogram. Exactly two weeks from the day I found it, I was in surgery having it removed. All along I was thinking positive, that it was nothing, only to find out a couple days later that it was only stage one.”

Ranes said she had 12 weeks of chemotherapy, followed by six weeks of radiation.

“I have to go every six months for check-ups but as of now, I’m still cancer-free,” she said. “We did the team Stephanie’s Fight and it's just a big part of my life and always will be. I encourage everyone to support Relay for Life.”

Relay meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month in Maria Parham Medical Center’s auditorium.

The final Relay event was originally scheduled for June 13, but Baines said that date now conflicts with high school graduations.

The event has been rescheduled to June 20-21 at Southern Vance High School.

Baines said Relay for Life will hold a yard sale on April 5 at the old Aycock gym from 7 a.m. to noon.

Vance County’s Relay for Life goals for 2014-2015 are:

• 47 total teams

• 750 total participants

• 350 total survivors

• $160,000 raised

To get involved in Relay for Life, go to relayforlife.org/vancenc for more information.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.