By Kim Forbes,
Relay Ror Life is something that, for most teams, happens year round. All of it culminates this time of year as teams gather with the community to celebrate survivors and memorialize those who have passed.
Last Thursday night Relay for Life of Gibson County assembled at the Milan Senior Center for their annual Survivor Dinner. Survivors and caregivers were invited to spend the evening enjoying a meal and each other’s company.
Beth Goodman, chairperson, and Jodie Barnhill, co-chair, were well organized in their efforts to welcome the survivors and caregivers for the dinner. Goodman emceed the event.
Invocation was given by Candace Zarecor. After the invocation, everyone was treated to a buffet style meal. Plenty of volunteers were on hand to assist with anything the guests might need.
Goodman asked for a show of hands and then acknowledged that there were survivors in the room from last year to 40 years ago who are now cancer free. Each survivor was given a survivor’s pin and each caregiver was given a caregiver pin.
After a short video which explained where the Relay For Life funds go, the honorary chairs were brought on stage. Medina honorary chair Heather Davis was unable to be at the dinner and sent her regrets.
North Gibson County honorary chair Pam Grady spoke on how she first became active with Relay 20 years ago when one of her sisters was diagnosed with colon cancer. Grady now is a cancer survivor and is cancer free after finding out last July that she had breast cancer. “With thanks to the good Lord, family, friends, church family and work family I made it,” said Grady.
Carrie Ann Mayfield is the Milan honorary chair. Mayfield too has been a longtime Relay supporter and volunteer. She too was diagnosed with cancer last year.
“I chose to believe this journey has a purpose – to help someone else,” Mayfield said. Even though she has supported Relay for many years, she admitted she did not know until she was a cancer patient the extent of what the American Cancer Society does. Mayfield was able to stay at Hope Hotel while a patient at Vanderbilt hospital. She also took part in the “Look Better, Feel Better” class and was provided with a wig. All of these things are a part of what the American Cancer Society does.
There were 28 survivors and 23 caregivers present for the dinner.
Goodman encouraged everyone to be at the main Relay For Life event Saturday, June 2, 5-11 p.m. at the Milan City Park.