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For over 25 years the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life has been raising awareness of cancer across the county. This year in preparation for the 2009 Williston Relay the local committee is holding a community wide kick-off each month.
Last month community members gathered to discuss the upcoming Relay, recognize teams, and listen to area survivors spread the message of hope. LaShanda Jelks spoke of the how her faith and the support of her friends and family helped her through her difficult time. Jelks is currently in remission from a non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Jelks thanked everyone in the room. She stated, “Thank you; you don’t know how much what you do means.”
Area resident Melanie Clark was also in attendance. She recalled her difficult journey through breast cancer that started at age 33. In the past 16 years Clark has undergone chemo, radiation, 2 radical mastectomies, and continues to struggle with lymphadema. During her battle she lost a father to pancreatic cancer and a sister to lung cancer. Melanie gave praise to God for his strength on which she still depends and admitted that without the support groups offered by the American Cancer Society, her family and her friends she does not know if she would have been able to survive. Melanie thanked everyone in the room because she lives the message of hope spread by Relay.
The 2009 Williston Relay will be held at WHS on April 3 and 4. The Relay will begin at 6 p.m. with the opening lap as the survivor lap. The second lap will honor caregivers. All area survivors are invited to attend and can contact Courtney Smith at 352-376-6866 or Courtney.C.Smith@CANCER.ORG to register.
The next community celebration is on Thursday, March 19 at 6 p.m. at the Community Center and all community members are invited to attend.