MIDLOTHIAN — For Micah Nichols and Cayman Steele, the goal of finding a cure for cancer holds a special importance.

As cancer survivors, the 8-year-olds know the struggle of battling the disease. This is Micah’s fourth year to participate and Cayman’s third. Although Relay For Life strives to create awareness about cancer and gain support for the search for a cure, Micah and Cayman are looking forward to meeting up with their Relay friends, fun, food, games and of course walking.

Micah, a first-grader at Mountain Peak Elementary School, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2007 at the age of 4. She received treatment through the Children’s Oncology Group clinical trial. She is now in remission.

“We love Relay because it gives us an opportunity to come out and be with the community. We are excited that Micah gets to grow up in this environment. Every year, everyone can see how much she has grown and just how well she is doing,” said Angie Nichols, Micah’s mother.

Cayman, who is in second grade at Northside Elementary School in Waxahachie, is a three-year cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma of the bile ducts. This is the second year for Team Cayman to participate in Relay.

Cayman said his favorite things at the event are Misster Relay, food, games and seeing his friends.

“This is Cayman’s third year to participate,” said Soledad Steele, Cayman’s mother. “We participated last year, did the walk and we had a blast. It’s a lot of fun and very rewarding because you want to give back once it happens to you.”

The 12-hour event is scheduled for May 20-21 beginning at 7 p.m. at Don Floyd Field. To date there are 165 participants making up 22 teams, said Pam Phipps, coordinator for caretakers and survivors. The event benefits the American Cancer Society.

“Relay is a passion of mine. Not only because I am a six-year breast cancer survivor, but because it gives me an opportunity to give back to my community,” Phipps said. “The survivors are the reason for Relay. We invite them to come out and bring a caretaker. They may have lost their survivor, but once a caretaker always a caretaker. We want to make it bigger and better for the survivors every year.”

The theme for this year’s Relay is “Celebrate.” The community-wide annual event will offer food vendors and entertainment with evening activities including a cake-decorating contest, silent auction, Relay Idol and “Misster” Relay, where a male member from each team has to dress up as a woman and solicit donations from the crowd, said Felest Ingersoll, event chair. A reception and dinner for registered survivors and caretakers will take place at 5:30 p.m., before the start of the Relay, and will include gifts and door prizes for attendees. At dark, participants will light luminaries around the track in a touching ceremony to recognize survivors and friends and family members lost to cancer.

Relay is a celebration of hope for a cure and to honor as many survivors as possible. It is a great opportunity to honor family members, friends or co-workers for their struggles and victories over the disease and support caregivers.

“I feel there is a cure for cancer out there and together we can find it,” Phipps said.

This year’s Relay For Life in Midlothian will feature a large flat screen displaying photos throughout the event honoring survivors and in memory of loved ones who battled cancer. The public is encouraged to submit photos with the individual’s name to be included in the display. Send print photographs to Pam Phipps at 1654 Peppertree Lane, Midlothian, TX 76065. Include a name and address for return of photos. Digital photos may be submitted via email to aingersoll2010@gmail.com.

For information about Relay For Life of Midlothian, visit www.relayforlife.org/MidlothianTX.

To become a sponsor or make a donation, contact Donna Collins at 469-449-7293 or Sheila Lock at 214-642-2285 sponsorship chairs; for team information, call team chair Betty Lucas at 214-770-8749; to register survivors and caretakers, call survivor chair Pam Phipps at 972-742-6388; and for event information, contact event chair Felest Ingersoll at 972-672-9359.

Contact Rebecca at rebecca.hertz@wninews.com or call 469-517-1451.