The Long County Relay for Life begins at 6 p.m. Friday at the Long County Recreation Complex, and teams are holding their final fundraisers and getting prepared for the fun night.
On Saturday, the annual Breakfast for Survivors and Caregivers was held at First Baptist Church of Ludowici. The guest speaker, local businessman Ray Howard, was diagnosed with cancer of the tonsil, said that he now is cancer-free. However, Howard said that prior to having the dreaded disease, he was a man who thought that cancer would never strike him.
“My family had diabetes and heart disease, not cancer,” Howard said. “Every time the insurance man would come around and try to sell me a cancer policy, I would say I need an arthritis policy more than I need a cancer policy.”
He said all of that changed in 2013, when he two siblings were diagnosed with cancer. About a year later, Howard went to the doctor because he knew “something wasn’t right.” Then on June 14, 2014, he received the bad news.
Howard said that when he was given the diagnosis, he weighed 233 pounds; after surgery and 35 radiation treatments, he weighed 170 pounds.
But even though many might feel sorry for him having had cancer, he feels much different about his experience.
“Cancer saved my life,” Howard said. “Before I got cancer, I wasn’t exercising like I should. I was driven by my work, and there was no slowdown in sight. Had I continued like I was going, I was headed for all kinds of health problems.”
Howard wants to stress that early detections save lives.
“Nobody knows your body better than you do,” he said. “If something don’t feel right or look right, go to the doctor and have it checked out. It can save your life.”
Last Thursday, the Relay for Life planning committee held a pancake-and-sausage dinner at A New Beginning Church. Deborah Wells, Relay for Life chairwoman, said both events went well, and she is looking forward to another successful night Friday. She said a highlight will be a flyover by the AirEvac medical transport unit during the luminary ceremony.
“The Relay is here, and we are looking forward to another great night. Having these events is so important in raising money for finding a cure for cancer,” Wells said.
For more information or to purchase a luminary, call Wells at 912-312-1838 or Gloria Holland at 912-294-7129.