Cancer survivors, their loved ones and other Central Albertans walked for 12 hours Saturday.
About 100 people participated in the 19th annual Central Alberta Relay For Life to raise awareness and money for the Canadian Cancer Society at CrossRoads Church in Red Deer County.
Ryan Peters was walking for his father Tom, who was diagnosed with cancer last fall.
“We decided to participate as a family and raise money for cancer research in order to help out in any way we can.
“It’s pretty great to experience the community and support. So many people are affected by this and it’s great to be with this group,” Peters said.
Stan Davis’ wife Daphne is battling ovarian cancer. The Davises have been members of a Relay For Life team for about 10 years – well before Daphne’s diagnosis.
“It’s special to give back to the (Canadian) Cancer Society after all the treatment she’s received and care she’s been given,” Stan Davis said.
Daphne recently completed chemotherapy and will do bevacizumab treatments for another six months.
Janet Dixie, event chair, said the goal is to raise $50,000 at this year’s relay; about $45,000 was raised last year.
“It’s a great way to socialize at an event we all hold so dear to our hearts,” said Dixie. “I work all year long to plan this so it’s fantastic having everyone out here. I love it.”
Hearing the survivor’s stories makes all the hard work worth it, she added.
“It makes you realize you’re doing all this for a reason,” Dixie said. “People impacted by cancer respect us for doing this and want to be a part of it too.”
Fifteen teams registered for the relay, which was the goal.
Kelly Fairholm, honorary co-chair and a cancer survivor, said she always loves participating in relay.
“It’s a good, fun event out here – always very touching,” she said.
In addition to the relay there was a survivors’ lunch, vendors and live bands. There’s also the lighting of the luminaries, where people can light a candle to honour people who have lost their lives to cancer, Saturday night.