American Cancer Society's Clay County Relay Committee Chairperson Kathy White, a three-year breast cancer survivor, told The Brazil Times the support of family and friends becomes as valuable as the medical treatment.
"As a breast cancer survivor, I was very fortunate to have my cancer found early through a mammogram," White said. "It is so important to talk about your battle with cancer. It's normal to get upset, but talking helps you deal with all of the new emotions you are feeling."
White said many people who participate in Relay find another support group, "a family of sorts," that understands the uncertainties and changes taking place not only in the patient's life, but that of their family, friends and co-workers.
"The American Cancer Society is a wealth of information for any family facing a battle with cancer," White said. "Relay is one of the community level programs that allows people to come together for a common purpose and have fun while raising money to help find a cure for this terrible disease."
White said another big part of the American Cancer Society's Clay County Relay For Life's 2008 "Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back" 14-hour event will celebrate the lives of as many area cancer survivors as possible.
This year's Relay event is scheduled to start at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 14 and last until 6 a.m. Sunday morning, at the Clay County YMCA.
It is estimated there are more than 28,000 residents living in Clay County, but local Relay officials are only aware of approximately 60-80 cancer survivors in the area, and of those only 38 participated in the 2007 Relay.
"There must be more, but we just don't know who they are," White said, adding that Relay Survivorship Chairperson Leesa Nesty is looking forward to increasing the honor roll of names of Clay County survivors. "We would like to know about and celebrate their victory in the battle against cancer."
Those who wish to identify themselves as a cancer survivor, interested in participating or wanting to learn more about Relay, contact Kathy White at 446-9733 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.acsevents.org/relay/in/clay for more information.