Kathy Culbreth, Relay for Life Dougherty-Lee County Chairperson
Steven Dilts, Cancer Survivor
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
The annual Relay for Life fundraiser is underway and will continue into the overnight hours at the Darton Track. The area will be filled with cancer survivors and people from all walks of life hoping to find a cure to the killer disease.
The goal is to raise $145,000 for cancer research. $86,000 has already been raised, and organizers say they're determined to reach that goal, even if they have to continue in heavy rain.
The annual Relay for Life fundraiser gives those who've been affected by cancer the chance to raise money for a cure. It also gives survivors and those who've lost loved ones the chance to celebrate those who've won their fight.
"When you get out there you will meet people that you would have never thought you'd have met. You will hear stories of how people have survived cancer. And that's one of the things that keeps us going. That keeps us bonded in the community," said Kathy Culbreth, Relay for Life Dougherty-Lee County Chairperson.
The walk will kick off with a survivor walk for those who won their battle with the disease. Once they finish, everyone else will start walking to raise money. There will be campsites and food. All of these people from six at night till six in the morning.
"Cancer doesn't sleep. And we can do this one day in our community to symbolize that cancer patients, they're sick during the morning, day, night, evening. And so we stay up and we just let them know that we're supporting them," Culbreth said.
The fundraiser generates hope in addition to money for research. Something one cancer survivor says brings the community together and gives the sick the will to live. "And hope is what everyone has. Hope that they will survive their fight. Hope that a cure will be found. You can't live without hope," said Steven Dilts, Cancer Survivor.
Dilts was diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkins lymphoma back in 2000, and has been coming to the annual event every year since. He says support from his family and the community helped him in his fight.
The Luminary service will begin at 9:00 with a new speaker this year. Organizers welcome anyone to come out and say the event will continue even in heavy rain. The American Cancer Society estimates more than one-point-six-million new cancer cases will occur this year.
It also says under 600,000 people will lose die from the disease by the end of the year. Organizers welcome anyone to come out and say the event will continue even in heavy rain. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 1.6 million new cancer cases will occur this year.