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Celebrating the fight" South Davis Relay supports life, cancer research
by Sarah Ryther
Jun 25, 2007 | 188 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODS CROSS --"Hero to Hero" was the theme of last weekend's Relay for Life, and during the event, heroes of all kinds came together to support the fight against cancer. "We're here to raise money and help find a cure for cancer," shouted Heather Barker, the relay's chair and a heroic cancer survivor, as she opened the event. "If people come together, we can make a difference in the fight against cancer."

"All of us have been touched by cancer," said the relay's guest speaker Alan Hansen, county commissioner. "You're all inspiring to me. Let's work together and stamp out cancer."

With the crowd excited, the relay officially began with the first event: a survivor's lap. With T-shirts reading "I am living proof," a multitude of cancer-surviving heroes walked one lap of the track while applause and cheers echoed in the background. A balloon release followed their lap.

From there, the main event, the team relay, began, lasting until dawn.

These were only the first of the relay's many activities, which also included a tug-of-war, carnival, board games, a fashion show, dodge ball games, tennis toss, yoga stretching, potato relay and more. The entertainment and fun continued all night, stretching into Saturday morning.

But while the event was fun and entertaining, the relay's paramount message of celebrating life and fighting against cancer was never forgotten.

"When I saw the survivors walking the lap, it really brought everything home to me," said 15-year-old Lynsey Mitchell of the North Salt Lake Youth City Council. "I've always been told about cancer, but I now realize how real it is. Participating in this has really meant something to me."

"I was diagnosed with cancer when I was a junior in high school," said Sharla Borrowman. "I was really sick and they didn't think that I was going to make it. I lost my hair three times."

"But my whole community rallied around me," Borrowman continued. "They held blood drives for me and were amazing. That's what the relay is about, coming together to offer each other support."

Fortunately, Borrowman's story has a happy ending.

"They told me that I'd probably never have children," she said. "I'm now pregnant with my third child. The human ability to overcome is amazing."

Not only did the event bring in hundreds of heroes from throughout the community, but many from across the United States were also there.

"I came here from Florida to support my sister,"said Melissa Christensen, Barker's sister. "This relay is a great event, and Heather has been so dedicated and has done such a great job. She's been inspiring to me."

"I've come here for the last couple years to honor my mother lost to breast cancer," said Tim Johnson of California. "The relay gives me and others a chance to dedicate a special day just to remember our lost family members."

In the end, the relay raised thousands of dollars that will go directly to the American Cancer Society.

At present, donations are still being accepted for the American Cancer Society online. To donate, you may visit www.acsevents.org/relay/ut/southdavis.



sryther@davisclipper.com

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