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Relay for Life in Clear Lake

03 June 2018

She is now cancer-free, she said.

Utilizing a strict regimen of radiation and chemotherapy, however, doctors successfully contained the tumor.

Olson was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and has endured some 70 radiation treatments over the years.

Thirteen teams gathered together at the Frank Mangano Memorial Field in East Liverpool for the Columbiana County Relay for Life Friday evening.

The Canadian Cancer Society states survival rates have increased seven per cent since 1993 just from Relay for Life.

According to the Relay For Life website, "Survivors and Caregivers are the heart and soul of Relay For Life events". Officials said 40 teams - some comprised of families, and others created by local businesses - participated. Relay For Life is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in thousands of communities and 27 countries. We are the only one, to-date, to be an overnight event.

Ivan Labelle, a three-time cancer survivor, served as community champion/honorary cancer survivor for the relay, and he was serving as master of ceremonies again, after months of behind-the-scenes work helping St-Jean to organize the event, to perhaps have it back on the road to someday being one of the biggest in the province.

Simmons was having fun Friday as he made his way around the stadium's track, stopping to pose for pictures, but Simmons-costumed Michael Hunt had a serious goal as he helped raise funds for the Berry Global Relay team.

"Our event has grown over the past 11 years to be an over night event", explains Patty, "We have become one of the largest Relay for Life event in the area". For the second year, organizers hosted a "wings-eating challenge". "We're nearly there, and some teams will continue fundraising after tonight". There are days they want you to be bubbly, days where they want you to listen and days where you have to be the emotional enforcer.

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"(The survivors are) the courageous men and women in the community who symbolize the great strides made in the fight against cancer, " Labelle said.

But the 2018 event was a well-choreographed one with lots of moving moments, starting with the Survivors' Victory Lap - led onto the track by the Glengarry Pipe Band - just before the official start of opening ceremonies. Prior to that, he discussed the significance of the event.

"It makes me sad to go around and see all the luminaries", Pam said. New and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer are needed to help people through their cancer journey. "Hopefully, we can help change the future". "We walk for them".

"It can happen to anybody", she said.

Amy is now five years cancer free but the removal of her thyroid has resulted in lasting complications.

And years later, like many survivors, the prospect of a recurrence still lingers in her mind.

From that day on, her family have been propelled on a journey that no family should have to endure.

"It gives you come and cry with people and laugh with people who understand what you're going through", she said.

Relay for Life in Clear Lake