Cancer survivors challenge all to attend Relay for Life
Published 11:52 am Saturday, June 6, 2015
Every year, hundreds of volunteers take to the track to walk laps to raise money for the American Cancer Society through the Carter County Relay for Life.
One Carter County couple has issued a challenge to see more people out supporting Relay for Life.
Between the two of them, John and Ethel Snyder have 47 years of being cancer survivors. Ethel has been a breast cancer survivor for 28 years, and John is a prostate cancer survivor for 19 years.
John was 57 years old when he was diagnosed. He described his treatment process as “smooth.” After having surgery, he proceeded with treatments and went into remission.
“I turned it over to the Lord,” he said. “I let him handle it because I couldn’t. I don’t believe I could have handled it without him.”
Ethel was 47 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She learned of her disease after being in a car accident, and found out it had spread to four lymph nodes. Because of that, her prognosis was not good.
“They told me that if I did the surgery, and the radiation and the chemotherapy, I might live five years,” she said. “That was 28 years ago. There are so many people affected by this disease; family, friends, church members. It is everywhere. It is a battle all the time.”
Both would like to see more local support for the charity that helps support cancer patients during the toughest battle of their lives.
The couple takes part in the Carter County Relay for Life each year. They attend the event and others leading up to it, including the annual Survivor’s Dinner.
“It is a joy to see the people who have had cancer, and have come through it OK,” John said. “Some people have had a harder time, and others have not. It makes no difference whether you have had an easy time or a hard time. To face knowing that you have cancer is one of the hardest things anyone will have to go through.”
While they are involved, they wish they could do more to support the fundraising effort. This is where their challenge comes in.
“I want to encourage people to keep giving to the Relay for Life and for cancer research,” Ethel said. “Sometimes we forget about how many people have been affected by it. I challenge others to give, and for those that have been diagnosed, I challenge them to keep fighting. You have to believe you are going to get well.”
The Carter County Relay for Life will be held June 26 starting at 6 p.m. at the Elizabethton High School track. For more information, contact the ACS office at 282-7011.