Coming together for Relay
Published 8:41 am Monday, July 20, 2015
Relay for Life is about more than just raising money for cancer research.
Saturday’s event at Niles High School brought together people like 2-year-old Tagen Regenos and 7-year-old Kayli Cheek, whose grandmother, Pat Pinch, became free of breast cancer last month.
Cancer survivor Melanie Bizoe, of Niles, was there too on the nine-year anniversary of learning she had become cancer free.
It also brought Michigan State Police Niles Post Commander Mike Dawson, who survived a tumor that had wrapped around his heart and was crushing his lung to the point where he struggled to breathe.
“It brings everyone together so they can talk to others who survived and the families of people who have gone through it,” said Dawson, who received a clean bill of health in the spring of 2014. “It just gives everybody the camaraderie to be together and talk about their stories and hopefully help somebody else who is still battling. There are people today that are still in treatment and they need support from people who have been through it.”
Dawson and his wife, Margaret, have participated in the Niles-Buchanan Relay since 1999 in support of numerous family members and friends who had contracted cancer.
Mike said it is different when you are there as a survivor and not just a supporter.
“It brings everything home a lot more when you are a survivor… it makes it real once it hits you personally,” said Dawson, who now participates in some of Relay’s signature events designed to support survivors, like the survivor lap and survivor dinner.
Saturday’s Relay, which asks teams to have at least one team member walking around a track for the duration of the event, was cut short due to a severe thunderstorm that rolled through the area.
Check back with the Niles Daily Star and online at leaderpub.com to find out how much was raised in this year’s event.
Funds generated go the American Cancer Society.