Thursday, June 7, 2012
Relay for Life all night Friday in Holly Springs
By SUE WATSON
The 2012 Marshall County Relay for Life is almost here, set to start Friday at 6 p.m. at Sam Coopwood Park.
This relay is especially meaningful to survivors and caregivers alike, as its founder, Dr. Gordon Klatt, has been diagnosed with cancer.
Klatt, a surgeon in Tacoma, Washington, has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. He said in a written statement, “Throughout the years I have spoken and written about how cancer can personally affect everyone. It can affect the rich, the poor, and all nationalities and cultures around the world. About four weeks ago, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer and I have begun my battle with this disease using chemotherapy.”
Klatt plans to have surgery this summer but still expects to be involved in his Relay For Life fund-raisers this year.
A colorectal cancer surgeon, Klatt started Relay For Life in the mid-’80s, combining something he loved, marathon running, to create a new fund-raiser to help the fight against cancer and offer help to patients.
To date, the Relay has raised $4.8 billion, in addition to inspiring survivors, caregivers and communities to bond together for a good cause.
“I am even more energized to defeat this disease worldwide,” he recently wrote in an e-mail. “I will again be with all of you in the spirit of this relay season – even more so this year. Celebrate the survivors; remember those who lost the battle and fight back.”
Connie Mason, with the Marshall County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, said this relay is an important one because the Relay’s founder is in the battle this year.
Locally, Marshall County began its Relay in 2000 and has raised over $400,000 for the American Cancer Society through the relay. All events have been held at Coopwood Park.
This year the walk and celebration will take place on the baseball field at the request of survivors who said going up and down the steps on the football field has been difficult.
Survivors begin the first lap at 7 p.m. Luminaria to honor a friend or family member who has/had cancer may be purchased at $10, $25 (silver) and $50 (gold).
There is a good lineup of entertainment which includes gospel singing, country singing, rap, R&B, dance and poetry reading.
Some groups who have already signed up are “Totally Committed,” Mitch Stone, “Level 3” (youth group), “TOB,” Jazzy Dance and Crystal Moore (gospel singer).
Several VIPs, including Rep. Kelvin Buck and Jerry Moore, have agreed to emcee the event.
Bring folding chairs and enjoy the evening.
The all-night Relay for Life event is scheduled to end Saturday at 6 a.m.
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