Survivor: Relay for Life helped save my life
Published 9:08 am Friday, February 14, 2014
Dawn Curry had been to Relay for Life events in the past, but never experienced one quite like last year’s celebration in Niles.
That’s because the 57-year-old Niles resident was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in June 2012.
Last year’s relay was the first she had experienced as a survivor.
“The survivor walk was the most emotional thing I’ve probably ever been involved in,” she said. “It was joy, it was sorrow — it took me in every direction. It was a celebration of life.”
Today, Curry’s chances of survival are good. She has checkups every six months, but doctors told her they don’t believe the cancer will return.
If not for events like the Niles-Buchanan Relay for Life, Curry isn’t sure she’d be here today.
“Relay for Life and those types of fundraisers are incredibly important because there are many people who don’t have insurance and can’t afford check-ups like mammograms,” she said. “The more awareness and support we get, the better chance we have of one day beating cancer.”
Curry will be one of many people attending Tuesday’s kickoff event. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Niles Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, located at 531 N. State St., Niles.
The kickoff will feature speakers from the community who have benefitted from the funds raised at Relay for Life and will honor cancer survivors and caregivers. This also will be the first opportunity to register a team and select a campsite for the overnight event to be held at 10 a.m. July 19-20 at Niles High School.
Debbie Floor, publicity chairperson, said $76,000 was raised last year. This year’s goal is $86,000.
The theme for this year’s Relay is “Superheroes.”
“Anyone interested in helping to fight cancer is encouraged to attend the kickoff,” Floor said. “There will be fundraising pointers, a moving PowerPoint, probably some moments of heartfelt tears and refreshments.”
Information about future events will also be shared, including a take-out chicken dinner March 9 and a benefit auction and dance April 12.