Rocklin's Relay For LifeBy: Anne Stokes, special to the Placer Herald
Hundreds of supporters with 32 teams came to spend the night at Granite Oaks Middle School to walk in Rocklin's annual Relay For Life this weekend. Some came as survivors. Some came to honor a loved one's battle. Everyone came to fight back against cancer.
The annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society started in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington and today is held in over 5,000 communities and 20 countries. Team members take turns walking for 24 hours to symbolize that cancer never sleeps.
Senior Relay For Life manager Sarah Evingham got involved with the American Cancer Society after her parents were both diagnosed with the disease. "It gives everybody the opportunity to come back together year after year and fight cancer," she said. "We have a tremendous number of survivors here this year, which is awesome. We had some people who have been newly diagnosed and we had some survivors who've been here many, many years. I think it's a great opportunity for everyone to come together and realize that cancer is something you can battle, and something that you can win, and that we're all fighting it together."
Skip Knapp of Rocklin was a caregiver for his wife Teresa during her battle with cancer 22 years ago. Their team, Faithful Friends, exceeded their goal and raised close to $2,500. " I think something like this helps promote the cause and gives you the personal satisfaction that you're doing something, you're raising funds for a noble cause," he said.
"It's great to see these survivors. It's sad when you don't see people who were here last year that are not here this year and you know they're gone."
Survivor Kathryn Dungan of Rocklin came to raise both money and awareness for a disease that has touched not just her own life, but the lives of many friends and family members. "I think it's very important to increase the awareness of cancer, and taking care of yourself, and anything you can do to decrease your chances of getting cancer," she said. "The way I raised the most money was through the luminaria bags. Even if [people] can't come do the event, they're $10 a bag and they can decorate them. That adds up really fast. So that's the best way I do the fundraising. If they have people that have either passed away or who are still alive and are survivors then they can have a luminaria bag. Then their family and friends are remembered. And that's a great way to raise money."
"I'm amazed at this Relay For Life in Rocklin and how many good friend and family I have that took care of me and my family when I was sick, I really appreciate that."
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