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Wilson County supports Relay for Life

Kaitlin Vantrease • Updated Jun 10, 2017 at 11:00 AM

People in Wilson County joined together Friday night at 6 p.m. on the west lawn of Wilson Bank and Trust to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors, remember the people lost and help fund new research during the Relay for Life fundraising event. 

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life movement is a fundraising event meant to fight every cancer in every community.  Rallying the passion of 4 million people worldwide, Relay For Life events raise funds that help fuel the mission of the American Cancer Society.  

In addition to assisting Wilson County cancer patients with services like free housing, networking with other survivors and informational support, the American Cancer Society currently has $8.5 million in cancer research projects in Tennessee.  That research is performed at facilities like Vanderbilt Medical Center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.  

This year’s theme was ‘Wish Upon a Cure’ and included the traditional survivor, caregiver and team laps, as well as the luminaria ceremony, in which participants like lanterns in honor of those affected by cancer. A live and silent auction, children’s and adult games with a variety of food provided by fundraising teams rounded out the evening.

Funds that are raised and donations made all go to cancer research and education, patient help or support and treatment programs.

The founder of Relay for Life, Gordon Flatt, who also battled with cancer, got the idea for this fundraising event when he walked and ran around a track in Washington for 24 hours to raise money for cancer. He imagined teams gathering together and doing the same thing in their communities and that is what Relay for Life became. 

The event began with an opening ceremony in which all participants gathered together. The ceremony is followed by the survivor lap, a lap for all cancer survivors and people currently being affected by cancer. The caregiver lap next acknowledges those who have provided support for family members or friends during their cancer treatment. The walk continued until midnight. 

To find out more about becoming a part of Relay for Life in Wilson County, visit relayforlife.org/wilson.

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