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Relay for Life, fundraising cancer research through upcoming events

BY TY BUTLER
STAR CORRESPONDENT
One in three individuals will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. And while a portion of the population has yet to endure the debilitating disease, many have emotionally felt the devastating aftermath of cancer.
To raise awareness, Sherie Rowe, the lead chair of Relay for Life, urges the community to participate in First Lap 2021 on January 9. Individuals will be encouraged to take a lap, wherever they may be — in the park or even around the block. The act is a simple, yet thoughtful recognition of the men and women who are currently fighting and have fought against the sickness.
But the movement does not end there. On February 4, Relay for Life, a branch of the American Cancer Society, will host a virtual World Kickoff Day, which will take place on the event’s Facebook page. Relay for Life will also host an event in September, however, it is unsure whether the occasion will follow the normal schedule, due to COVID-19. Individuals should check the group’s Facebook page at a later date for further details and more information.
For Sherie Rowe, Relay for Life is more than just a movement and event — it is personal. Rowe, along with many others within the Elizabethton area, has experienced cancer from a front row’s view.
“My mother had ovarian cancer and passed away in 2014. My father currently has cancer and is fighting the same battle,” said Rowe. “Every single person in our community has been touched by cancer, so for me, it’s so important to keep the research funded. That is the reason I’m in it and that is my why,” she added.
Though some may feel that there is little that they can do to assist the fight against cancer, it is far from the truth, as Relay for Life currently has a donation tab listed on their official website — each and every dollar goes toward cancer research and the brawl to bring the world that much closer to a cancer-free society.
Last year, Relay for Life 2020 was able to assist in that fight, thanks to a bundle of fundraisers. Leading the charge was the Faithful Family and Friends team with over $6,000. Nancy Berry was the top individual fundraiser. Numerous sponsors accommodated Relay for Life 2020, helping the event gain support. Those sponsors included: Big John’s Closeouts, Carter County Bank, Citizens Bank, Elizabethton Federal, and Snap-on Tools.
During the 2020 Light Up for Life Carter County event, Relay for Life doubled down and hosted a separate affair, giving Elizabethton residents the opportunity to show off their Christmas lights. Daniel and Robin Vines, Kee Wee Guinn and Raven Holtsclaw all walked away as victors, claiming the top three spots.
Rowe is currently searching for sponsors to help assist with the 2021 events. If interested, please contact her at 423-213-6089.
“A lot of the things that they have discovered about ovarian cancer have been directly funded by the American Cancer Society. Honestly, I want my daughter to live in a world where she never has to hear those words,” said Rowe.
For more information visit Carter County’s Relay for Life Facebook page at www.facebook.com/relayforlifecartertn. Individuals can sign up to donate, participate and form a team at www.relayforlife.org/cartertn.