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Importance of Relay For Life

Relay For Life, the main fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, has a special place in my heart. When I was in eighth grade, my Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. They quickly removed the tumor and she had chemotherapy treatments for a while.
When I was in ninth grade, my Grandfather was diagnosed with cancer in seven places in his body, but it started out as prostrate cancer. He passed peacefully soon after at home.
The end of my eleventh grade year my Mom was diagnosed with a very rare esophageal cancer that eventually took her life. She only had one chemo treatment. She passed away in her sleep at Pitt Memorial Hospital the morning of May 20th 1999, only about a month after being diagnosed and five months of being sick.
Then my Freshman year of college they told my aunt she was cured. We all celebrated at her 5 year remission. However, the following year, her doctor ordered the wrong scan and discovered twelve spots between her lungs. She underwent extensive chemotherapy again, but it didn't work. So, the doctors said she had one option left, the experimental Stem Cell transplant program at Duke University. It is research with stem cells, chemical treatments, and healing methods that the money raised during Relay for Life goes for.
In 2008 my Great Aunt was diagnosed with bone cancer. I'm not familiar with the medical terms for it. It eventually took her life. She passed away in her sleep at Bertie Memorial Hospital.
Eight years after my Aunt Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer the second time, I had the honor of walking around the track at East Carolina University with her in the Survivor Walk during Relay For Life.
There were tears throughout the night because of the loss of loved ones, but I was truly honored to be standing beside my Aunt Lisa that night.
For those of you out there who have been touched by cancer, and they say 3 out of 4 people have, keep fighting to find a cure! We do not want to lose loved ones too early, or see them suffer through treatments and hospital stays.
Help the fight against cancer!

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