Relay for life this weekend

Sheila Blankenship

The Hooker Advance

    Boise City and Cimarron County residents are invited to take a step in the direction of curing cancer this weekend at the 11th annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Texas County in Guymon , Okla.

    The overnight event celebrates life after cancer as well as remembers those lost to the disease as Relay For Life teams end a year of raising funds for the ACS. The 12 hours of Relay For Life will begin this Friday, July 28 at 7 p.m. at the Carl and Lou McKinnon Stadium and continue on through 7 a.m. Saturday, July 29.

“Relay For Life is a grassroots effort of people who refuse to let cancer claim another life without a fight,” Sheila Blankenship, event chair, said. “This weekend we will congratulate ourselves on a job well done, raising tens of thousands of dollars to fund American Cancer Society research, patient services, education and advocacy while we honor our area cancer survivors and remember family and friends who have died.”

Some may think an overnight event is a poor way to accomplish all these goals but as a cancer survivor, Blankenship understands the reasons clearly.

“An overnight event may not be easy but it's not intended to be. It's intended to mimic the journey a cancer patient takes to help everyone better understand what we're up against and strengthen our resolve to elimate suffering and death from cancer,” Blankenship explained.

Relay For Life starts at dusk and ends the next morning. The light and darkness of the day and night parallel the physical effects, emotions and mental state of a cancer patient while undergoing treatment.

    The Relay begins at sunset, which symbolizes the time a person is diagnosed with cancer. As the evening progresses, it gets colder and darker - this represents the patients' state of mind as they endure the emotions of being a “cancer patient.”

    The time between 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. represents when the cancer patient starts aggressive medical treatment. They become exhausted, some get sick, not wanting to go on, possibly wanting to give up. As a participant in the Relay, you're up late and have been walking and feel much the same way. Like the cancer patient, Relay team members don't stop or give up.

    The time around 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. symbolizes the completion of treatment for the cancer patient. Once again, they are tired but they can catch a second wind knowing they will make it through.

The sun rising represents the end of treatment for the cancer patient.

They see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that life will go on.

The morning light brings on a new day, full of the promise of new beginnings. Relay participants will feel the warmth and see the brightness of the sun and know that the end of this event is nearing.

Blankenship concluded, “I hope you attend this year's Relay and when you leave the event, I hope you continue to remember the people you know who have been through the cancer journey and be assured that money raised will support direct-to-patient services, life-saving research, education and advocacy efforts to stop cancer.”

Persons wishing to have more information about support and services of the American Cancer Society may call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit the ACS online at www.cancer.org. Those wanting to get involved with the local Relay For Life may contact Blankenship at 580-652-2476 or blanksa@ptsi.net.

Boise City News
P.O. Box 278
105 W. Main Street
Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
Phone: 580 544-2222
Fax: 580 544-3281
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