Thomasville walks for cancer survivors - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomasville walks for cancer survivors

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Thousands will walk Thomas County Central High School's track Friday night, raising money for cancer research and honoring those that have passed and survived the deadly disease.

It's the American Cancer Society's annual Relay for Life in Thomasville. Friday afternoon they set up for the 12 hour event. And everyone there had a story to tell.

It's easy to let the sights and sounds of preparation for Thomas county's relay for life

distract you from the stories of tragic loss

"Within like a four year span I lost seven family members," says Lisa Fireash, Chair for Thomas county Relay for Life.

and courageous survival.

"In 1989 I found a lump in my breast." 63-year-old Delores Brown is a 20 year breast cancer survivor.

"I am still here, and on the move, and happy with my life," she says.

But it hasn't been easy.

"Right now I'm dealing with my brother." Her brother is struggling in his fight with cancer. Her mother lost her battle with the disease only 14 months after being diagnosed.

But Delores is a fighter. "You can't give up. You have to keep trying," she says.  

"It really hits home for me," says Jean Smith, who was diagnosed with skin cancer 13 years ago.

She also works as a radiation therapist at Archbold Memorial Hospital's oncology center.

"I might be the last hug they get or the last smile or I love you, it means a lot," she says.

Early detection saved her life. She says don't stick your head in the sand. Know your body and get routine physicals.

"90% of the time when you do, you're ahead of the game," she says.

1600 torches and bags will light up the track Friday night. Each one with a name. Some who have passed, other's still living to tell their story...giving hope to anyone who's struggling.

"Believe in yourself. And trust in God," said Brown.

Words of a survivor who says she has cancer. It doesn't have her.

Over 30 teams will camp out overnight in Thomas county, and they expect thousands to come out and participate in the fun.

Their goal this year is to raise $200,000.

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