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Community committed to finding a Cure

Baldwinsville’s Ninth Annual Relay For Life

Survivors and Caregivers partake in the kick-off lap honoring cancer survivors.

Survivors and Caregivers partake in the kick-off lap honoring cancer survivors.

— Fifty-one teams consisting of 865 participants turned out for the ninth annual Baldwinsville Relay For Life held Friday, June 15. This community based event is put on every year to not only honor those whose lives have been touched by cancer, but to raise awareness and funds to further research for a cure.

All of the teams have different stories as to why they decided to form and participate in this event.

Diamonds are Forever was one such team. Made up of 62 family members and friends of Lisa Diamond, who passed away fighting brain cancer five years ago, this team first formed as a way for the family to channel grief. Over the years Diamonds are Forever began to expand the different people that they recognize.

Another team was Taylor’s Dream Builders, partially formed in honor of 13-year-old Taylor Rezak, one of the youngest survivors participating in this event.

“We try very hard to work towards children’s cancer, which is the most important thing for us because it touches close to home, and having a survivor in the family obviously makes us want to give back,” said Taylor’s mother and team leader, Deborah.

While this event brought a large family crowd, there were also a large number of students involved.

Teams such as Don’t Stop Bee-lieving and Just Beat It were two of the many high school teams that participated in this year’s Relay For Life.

While this event was a way to raise funds, it was also a way to raise awareness. Cancer survivor of 26

years, Katie Flynn, shared a shocking statistic: according to the American Cancer Society, one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Flynn said Relay for Life is so important because “there is so much information that can be shared with the people here [at the relay], and if we can get everyone the information that’s so many more people whose lives can be saved.”

So far, this year’s Relay has raised more than $81,000. Teams will be accepting donations through August. To learn more about Relay for Life or to donate, visit relayforlife.org.

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