Person County Relay picks up the fight again

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Person County Relay for Life is gearing up for the 2019 event at Person High School Friday night.

This year’s Relay will begin at 4 p.m. at Rocket Stadium and run until 11 p.m.

Cancer survivors, caregivers, family members, friends and supporters will circle the track throughout the night in a show of strength against the disease and in support of the American Cancer Society.

The opening ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. to introduce the event leadership team members, sing the national anthem and thank the sponsors.

The survivor walk will begin at 6:30 p.m. There will be a Kid’s Superhero walk at 8 p.m. before the Luminary Ceremony beginning at 9 p.m.

The ceremony will honor those currently fighting cancer and remember those who have been lost due to the disease. Guest speaker Susan Pierson Garrett, a cancer survivor herself, will speak during the ceremony. The stadium will go dark and luminaries will be lit at 9:30 p.m.

Relay for Life chair Michelle Nance said there are 35 local teams who have raised close to $50,000 as of Tuesday.

Nance said the money will help the American Cancer Society fund research, preventative care and other programs for those fighting cancer.

“There is a misconception that all of the money will go to research, but that’s not true,” Nance said.

The money will also go to programs like Look Good Feel Better which offers complimentary group and virtual sessions that teach beauty techniques to help people with cancer to face their diagnosis with greater confidence and Road To Recovery which gives patients free rides to their treatment.

Nance said the death rate from cancer has been decreasing in the last 20 years and has decreased 27 percent since 2016 as result of a decline in smoking, research and educational efforts.

Nance said Relay for Life offers a unique opportunity for community togetherness.

“Relay for Life is unique because it pulls everyone in the community together because everyone has been affected in some way by cancer,” she said. “Cancer doesn’t discriminate by race, gender or socioeconomic status - it affects everyone.”

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