Hall of Fame broadcaster and Denver resident Doug Mayes has been the honorary chairman of the East Lincoln Relay for Life since its inception eight years ago. (Left) Mayes chats with singer Lynsi Uptegraft after singing the National Anthem during the opening ceremonies. (Right) As the sun sets at East Lincoln High School, Mayes takes a moment to hug Relay chairwoman Patsy Black. Mayes is a cancer survivor himself, beating prostate cancer nine years ago this past February. Jon Mayhew / LTN Photo
Retired Charlotte radio and television personality Doug Mayes spent 5 decades gracing the living rooms of hundred of thousands of people through longtime stints at WBT-AM (1110), WBTV-TV Channel 3 and WSOC-TV Channel 9.
What many people donâ€™t realize, however, is that Mayes has called Denver home since the early 1970s.
â€œIâ€™ve lived here in eastern Lincoln County for the past 35 years,â€ said Mayes. â€œDenver seems to be growing everyday. Itâ€™s exciting but challenging for the schools and transportation.â€
What people may not be aware of as well is Mayes himself is a cancer survivor.
He is a nine-year survivor of prostate cancer, first being diagnosed in 1997.
â€œThe urologistâ€™s nurse called me and had me come in to talk to the doctor,â€ said Mayes from the survivorâ€™s tent at the 2006 East Lincoln Relay for Life. â€œI dreaded the news, not knowing what he would say. When I got there, the doctor said â€˜sit down, letâ€™s talkâ€™.â€
Mayes said that was the longest day of his life.
â€œHe told me I had cancer,â€ said Mayes, who added cancer is a scary word.
â€œIn the past, the word cancer almost meant certain death,â€ he said. â€œNow, however, there have been tremendous strides in research that gives cancer patients hope.â€
That hope came in the form of a voice Mayes said he heard â€œas clear as day.â€
â€œA voice said to me that I would be all right,â€ said Mayes. â€œIt was God saying he was going to take care of me. I felt this peace after the initial shock, fear and fright wore off.â€
Mayes said that after his diagnosis and treatment in 1997, he wanted to get involved in the community he calls home.
â€œI became affiliated with the Relay after Patsy called me,â€ said Mayes.
He has been the honorary chairman for the East Lincoln Relay for Life since its inception according to chairman Patsy Black.
â€œI want to be more than an honorary chairman,â€ said Mayes. â€œI want to be involved.â€
Over the years, heâ€™s seen participation increase in the East Lincoln Relay.
â€œFamilies touched by cancer and survivors as well participate more and more each year,â€ said Mayes. â€œItâ€™s also because of the coverage given to the event by the Lincoln Times-News.â€
Mayes said that the East Lincoln Relay has also received national media coverage as well because of â€œthe unbelievable participation.â€
â€œPeople come out every year and hook up,â€ said Mayes. â€œItâ€™s like a big family reunion. Itâ€™s as large or larger than almost any other event here in East Lincoln.â€
Mayes also took a moment Friday night to remember the support heâ€™s gotten not only as a cancer survivor but a broadcaster as well.
â€œPeople have been kind to me and supported me in my work,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™ve tried to give something back. I enjoy talking with the people and meeting them.â€
by Jon Mayhew