Celebrating cancer survival

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 8, 2004

Survivors ruled the day on Friday.

They are survivors of cancer and as the diverse crowd represented, cancer strikes those of all ages, races and sex.

When watching and listening, one almost forgets that these are the people either fighting cancer or those who have beat cancer.

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One could say it is a pep rally for those fighting and a victory rally for those who beat it.

This was the event that precludes the annual Relay For Life scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, May 14 at the Butler County Fairgrounds.

Survivors’ Luncheon Chairwoman Vivian Killingsworth welcomed the approximately 175 people to the luncheon held at the Family Life Center at First Baptist Church.

Providing entertainment was the student theater group from Booker T. Washington Magnet School in Montgomery that sang selected hits from various musicals.

James Peavy announced that reserved parking spaces would be available for survivors attending the Relay For Life on Friday night.

Survivors needing special parking or the required parking decal, please see the people wearing red smocks once you arrive at the fairgrounds.

&uot;We are so glad to give the use of the facilities out there,&uot; he said.

&uot;I’m a member of the fairgrounds committee and we usually charge a nice amount for the facilities, but we are happy to donate it for this event.&uot;

One of the special moments of the day came when June Earnest from Wal-Mart presented a very special survivor with some items.

Zach Till, 6, was diagnosed with a Wilhms tumor when he was 23 hours old.

He continues his battle with cancer to this day.

Because Relay For Life t-shirts do not come in children’s sizes, Earnest made sure he had one to wear by arranging one his size to be made.

She also got him an official Relay For Life cap.

Rebecca Atchison, a broadcast journalism major at Troy University, also gave Till an official TROY ball cap.

Relay For Life Chairwoman Joan Reynolds applauded all involved with the event on Friday and said they deserved everyone’s thanks for the work they put in.

&uot;All of these people get no money for the hours they spend working on Relay For Life,&uot; she said.

&uot;They have a love of helping others and we should be thankful for them.&uot;

Special thanks went to Ellen Burkett, owner of Priester’s Pecans, who provided the lunch for the event.

They served chicken salad, fresh fruit, spring salad, yeast rolls and key lime cake.

All Relay captains are reminded that Thursday, May 13 is Bank Night when all monies collected should be turned in.