First National Bank hosts Relay for Life

Team Health Department’s mascot, Teeny Tiny, was dressed and ready to represent at the Relay for Life.

Amanda Riddle and husband, Josh Riddle, relayed for Gage Guffey, 8, of Brevard, North Carolina. Gage is currently a patient at St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, battling brain cancer. “My motivation for being the Health Department’s team captain was because of my husband’s eight year old cousin, Gage, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in January and was given six to twelve months to live. It kills me to see and hear about kids suffering,” said Amanda Riddle, Jackson County Health Department, RN. Gage had one of his dreams come true when the Make A Wish foundation sent him to Disney World.

Ten year, ovarian cancer survivor, Zona Cousins, won a beautiful tote in the survivors’ raffle.

Jerri Johnson (center), five year breast cancer survivor is pictured here with her caregivers and support system, Sally Wiggins (far right) and Winona Owens (far left).

Lisa Love and Safetha Durrough walked on behalf of English Village.

The Survivors’ Walk, attending survivors took their celebratory lap around the Jackson County Courthouse.

Pictured here are First National Bank, Relay for Life coordinators, Jennifer Lee and Meghan Lewis with American Cancer Society representatives, Lyndse Sager and Tanja Williams.

Team Jackson County Health Department was present and excited to walk

Altus High School JROTC lead the Relay For Life, Opening Ceremony

This past Saturday, May 30, people gathered downtown at the Jackson County Courthouse for the Relay for Life event hosted by First National Bank. Relay for Life is a movement initiated by the American Cancer Society, that allows communities to come together to honor cancer survivors, remember those who have lost their battle, and to fight back against the disease. Teams are formed to participate in the Relay for Life event, that can last up to 24 hours, therefore, the duration of the event someone from each team is walking or running the path set out. Money is raised for cancer research through the formation of teams as well as other fundraising efforts during the event.

“Relay for Life is to bring people together and celebrate our survivors and 80 percent of what is raised goes directly to cancer research,” said Lyndse Sager, American Cancer Society.

“So many people in this community are battling or has or had a loved on battling. The event has a huge impact in this area,” said Jennifer Lee, First National Bank, Event Coordinator.

The event started with an opening ceremony, followed by the survivors’ walk, after which the teams were free to begin walking around the Courthouse. The time span for walking was from 6 to 10 p.m., and there was entertainment and food available the entire time.

The hope and goal is to continue growing the event, raising more awareness, support and funds for research.

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