The word â€œHOPEâ€ was spelled out with luminaries at Friday nightâ€™s sixth annual East Lincoln Relay for Life event.
As the cancer survivors made their first lap around the track at East Lincoln High School, the word hope changed to â€œCURE.â€
Thatâ€™s what it was all about: hope for a cure.
There were 221 cancer survivors that came together Friday night to walk to help find a cure for cancer.
Angela Huntely, 37, was just one of the survivors who came out.
â€œI want to cry, itâ€™s very emotional,â€ Huntley said. â€œBut it is also very inspirational.â€
Experiencing her first relay for life as a first-year breast cancer survivor, she said she came to donate money.
An avid Harley rider, Huntleyâ€™s friends helped her when she was sick.
â€œThey held a poker run for me to help me pay for doctor bills,â€ Huntley said. â€œWith the extra money that I have from that, I am going to donate it towards finding a cure for cancer.â€
Hers was one of many success stories.
Three East Lincoln graduates held a reunion Friday night celebrating their fight of beating cancer.
Peggy Devine, a 9-year breast cancer survivor of Denver wanted to come to the relay to see some familiar faces.
â€œI found out there are a lot of people who have had cancer,” Devine said. “Itâ€™s been very encouraging,â€
Two of her friends from East Lincoln High School were there with her walking the track â€“ Annette Lawing, a 13-year survivor of breast cancer and Kathy Mclawhorn, a three-year survivor of melanoma.
Devine said when she came to Relay for Life last year she did not even know that her friend Kathy was a cancer survivor.
â€œItâ€™s really broadened the spectrum system,” she said. “The more survivors you meet the more encouraging it is.â€
Even those who have not been exposed to cancer were there to help out, including an 11-year-old girl. Stephanie Hilty, a Rock Springs Elementary student, grew her hair for three years in order to cut it off to donate it to Locks of Love Friday night.
â€œI wanted to help people who donâ€™t have hair, I feel bad for them,â€ she said.
Relay for Life raised $152,000 this year, a little below their goal of $205,000.
Patsy Black, chairwoman said the weather caused a smaller turn-out than expected.
â€œI am hoping that we will hit the $170,000 mark once all the funds are tallied,â€ she said.
Funds will continue to be raised up until Aug. 30 for the American Cancer Society.
Bagpiper Susan Ferguson leads the crowd during the survivors lap around the track at East Lincoln High School. There were 221 cancer survivors who participated in the sixth annual relay event. Chris Dean / LTN Photo
Jeremy Dellinger tries a new approach to putt-putting by trying to blow the ball in at the putt-putt course at Friday nightâ€™s Relay for Life event. Chris Dean / LTN Photo
by Amy Wadsworth