A Survivors’ Walk
Cat Reynolds and Rosezetta Hill don’t know each other, but they will forever share a bond that no one can break.
Both were diagnosed with cancer last year.
Upon hearing the news, Reynolds said she had never been so shaken in her life.
“I was afraid for my family and for myself. I could not have made it without my husband, but I knew I could overcome it. I have strong faith in God and I knew he would not give me more than I could handle,” she said.
Faith endured for both Reynolds and Hill who were both told by physicians earlier this year their bodies now are cancer-free.
“I feel great,” Hill said as she walked the survivor’s lap Friday night. “Thank God I am still here and able to do it.”
About Relay for Life
Relay for Life began 25 years ago in Tacoma, Wash. Since 1993, when the American Cancer Society made Relay for Life a signature fundraiser, 90 more lives are saved per day.
At least five buttons of all shapes and sizes adorned the purple and white T-shirt Diane Cooke wore as she walked several laps at Long Bell Stadium at Stafford Park on Friday night.
“This is my brother, this one is for my sister, this one for my granddaddy … and this one is my husband,” she said pointing to the assortment of badges.
“I lost ’em all to cancer,” she said. “That is why I’m here to support everyone, because I know what they are going through You can’t be in everyone’s lives but you can be there to encourage ’em and to let them know that there is hope.”
Cooke was one of hundreds of people who gathered at the stadium on Friday and Saturday for the 25th Annual Liberty County Relay for Life.
The 24-hour, Hawaiian-themed fundraiser was the fifth and final relay for the year in South Georgia.
More than 44 teams participated in the event and by Saturday afternoon participants had raised $142,000.
The goal for the year was $157,000.
Victoria Ten Broeck serves as the community manager for Liberty, Bryan and Effingham Counties.
She said she was happy with the results.
“It’s just one of those things where the community just pulls together at the last minute,” she said. “[In Liberty County] there is just a great community feel here. It is not just parts of the community taking on the fight against cancer; it is the entire community taking on the fight against cancer.”
Floral printed tees, hula skirts and flowered draped tents could be seen all over the stadium grounds as teams decorated and dressed up according to this year’s “luau for life” theme, each hoping to convince attendees to spend money for the cause.
“Here we have some surfer cupcakes the children can decorate for $1,” said Paula Crowley, captain of the Liberty County Board of Education team. “Our goal was to raise $3,000 and by the end of tonight, we will have raised more than $7,000. Everything we raise will go to Relay for Life.”
Some teams took a more spiritual approach to their tent decor.
Members of the St. Stephen Catholic Church team left footprints in the sand in front of their tent.
“Each wooden step represents a cancer survivor from our church,” team captain Karen Butler said. “Those who have passed from the disease are in the clouds looking over them.”
No matter what approached each team took, everyone on the field said they were having a good time helping out a great cause.
“It’s just great,” Crowley said. “I think this is the best one since it was held at Liberty County High.”