MILLINOCKET, Maine — Angela Morrow has survived chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, crushed vertebrae in her back and cancer damage to her left leg, but when the Katahdin Area American Cancer Society Relay for Life starts tonight, she will be there.
First diagnosed three years ago, the 26-year-old stay-at-home mom has hope for her future and that of other cancer survivors.
“Everything is at a standstill. Nothing is getting worse; nothing is getting better,” Morrow said Thursday. “It was really hard at first, but I just try to make the best of it and look at the bright side, I guess. With this [relay] I get to help other people with early detection and how they can learn about it.
“I am hoping to at least do the survivor’s lap,” Morrow added.
Held at Stearns High School of Millinocket for its third year, the overnight relay will start at 6 p.m. and end at 10 a.m. Saturday, said Morrow, one of the event’s organizers. The public is invited.
During the event, walkers raise money for cancer research and commemorate loved ones lost to cancer. The event is known for having different themes in each hour, such as “Bad Hair Day” or “Hollywood Style.” There are also raffle tournaments, music and face painting. Some participants also light luminarias that circle the track.
Walking teams do most of their fundraising before the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their campsites around the outdoor track at Stearns, said Margo Stevens, the event’s volunteer publicity chairwoman.
“Relay is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we’ve lost and fight back against the disease,” Stevens said in a statement. “Many of the participants are cancer survivors, which serves as a reminder that our community is not immune to this disease and that by participating in Relay, we are joining with the American Cancer Society’s efforts to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.”
The luminaria ceremony will take place at 10 p.m. Friday and honors the region’s cancer survivors and those lost to the disease.
With sunny weather expected today and Saturday, Morrow hopes the event, which has been hampered by rain the past two years, will draw more than 150 people. Participants are encouraged to bring tents and stay at the track overnight.
Katahdin Area Relay for Life
WHO: Cancer survivors, their friends and family, those who have lost friends and relatives to cancer, and others
WHAT: Katahdin Area American Cancer Society Relay for Life
WHERE: Stearns High School of Millinocket
WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday
WHY: To raise money for cancer research and honor cancer survivors and those lost to the disease
FOR MORE INFO: call 800-227-2345 or visit RelayForLife.org/katahdinme
SOURCE: Katahdin Area American Cancer Society Relay for Life.