Kelly Barnes understands the struggles of cancer patients and their families -- her 3-year-old son is being treated for a malignant brain tumor.
She is relying on the community to help pay for his care and for cancer research through organized events such as the Relay for Life on Saturday at Carson High School.
"There isn't one person I wouldn't help if I could find a way to do it," she said. "I wouldn't want to see anybody sick or hurt or dying. I hope most people feel like that."
Her son, Daniel Morrison, will serve as honorary chairman of the relay which begins 4:30 p.m. Saturday and will run until 8 a.m. Sunday.
Cancer survivors will be treated to a free B'Sghetti's dinner at 5 p.m. and will be publicly honored at 5:45.
The all-night relay on the Carson High School track will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a variety of activities scheduled throughout the night including a pajama parade, mint spitting contest and salsa dance lessons.
The relay will wrap up the following morning with a breakfast from 6 to 8 a.m.
Money raised will go to advocacy, services and research. It is Barnes' hope that the research will lead to a cure.
"It would be nice to know you could do something and it would go away," she said. "For now, I have to trust we're on the right path, that we're doing what God wants."
Barnes was bringing Daniel in for chemotherapy treatments but saw his health deteriorate. She is now focusing on homeopathic treatments including a special diet.
"It's exhausting. It's tedious. It's 24/7," Barnes said. "I never know if what I'm doing is going to help. It's scary."
Barnes held a carwash to raise money for Daniel's treatment and was surprised by the show of community support.
"It's really hard to grasp that people who don't even know us are willing to help -- they care," she said. "It's awesome. This is how it should be on Earth."
She is planning a raffle for Sept. 1. Businesses interested in donating prizes should call Barnes at 560-0219.
If you go:
What: Relay for Life
When: from 4:30 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday
Where: Carson High School
For more information or to form a relay team call Dr. Ruth Adams or Lynn Martin at 883-7811.
Send donations to 6490 S. McCarran Blvd. Ste. 40 Reno, NV 89509. Donations can also be made during the relay.