Karen Mathiowetz

Relay For Life

A survivor is anyone who has ever heard the words “you have cancer.” Cancer is one of the scariest diagnoses a person can have; however, it does not have to be a death sentence.

At Relay For Life of Ellis County, our goal is to create a world where more people survive cancer so they can celebrate another birthday. This year more than 11 million people will be able to do that thanks to the support of millions of dedicated Relay participants.

Survivors are the guests of honor at Relay For Life of Central Ellis County, which will be held May

20-21 at the Waxahachie Sports Complex on Broadhead Road. A special invitation is extended to all cancer survivors to be the honored guests at Relay this year. To date, 110 survivors are registered.

“We hope all cancer survivors will come and celebrate with us this year,” said survivor chair, Donna Daniell. “We have a survivors’ reception at 6 p.m. May 20. We will serve sandwiches with fully cooked brisket from H-E-B again this year. Every survivor will receive a special purple T-shirt.”

All survivors are encouraged to walk in the survivors’ lap at the beginning of Relay. Survivors lead the way around the track while being honored and applauded by all participants. Being a part of the Survivors Lap allows survivors to celebrate what they’ve overcome while inspiring and motivating their community to fight. Survivors are proof that cancer can be defeated.

Relay For Life is also a great way for people to meet other survivors in their own community. In many communities, survivors form their own teams, join the Relay committee or volunteer for the American Cancer Society in other ways.

“I participate in Relay because I do not want my grandchildren to ever hear those awful words, ‘You have cancer,’ ” one participant said. “When I am talking to a cancer survivor or caregiver who is at the end of their rope and doesn’t know what to do or where to turn, I tell them that the American Cancer Society is there to help them. I can see a little bit of hope in their eyes. Sometimes it just helps for them to have someone to care or to cry with.”

If you are a cancer survivor or caregiver, contact Donna Daniell at 469-337-0438 for more information or to register as a survivor or caregiver.

Karen Mathiowetz is a volunteer with Central Ellis County Relay For Life.