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MOUNT VERNON — The annual Relay For Life event was a night of fun and healing for those who have fought or lost a loved one to cancer.
The festival feel of the event was new this year, brought on by a desire from the Event Leadership Team to make Relay For Life more accessible to the community. Team tents surrounded Public Square and fun for the whole family including summertime foodstuffs, games and face painting, cornhole and of course, music to walk by provided by a disc jockey.
Not new this year, was the event’s purpose and the meaning it holds to participants and survivors of cancer. More than 250 participated as individual or as part of one of the 24 teams. Over $46,200 has been raised for the American Cancer Society by the Knox County chapter so far this year. Donations are being accepted through August.
Relay for Life events offer a fellowship for survivors and families who have lost loved ones to cancer, SRFLT team co-leader Cathy Stover said. She explained that when she was diagnosed in 2003 with breast cancer, that she didn’t want to be “the person with cancer.” But through getting involved with Relay for Life in 2004, she started to feel proud that she was a survivor. In 2009, she was diagnosed with cancer again in her other breast, at which point she began taking the drug Herceptin as part of her treatment, a drug, Stover explained, was developed by a grant from the American Cancer Society.