Cancer survivors gather for Relay for Life |

Cancer survivors gather for Relay for Life

Samantha Fredrickson, Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City resident Wilma Wilson reached for her husband’s hand and smiled with optimism at this year’s Relay for Life to raise money and awareness for cancer.

“My husband is a cancer survivor and I am his rooting section,” she said.

Her husband, Joe, was among the 120 cancer survivors who gathered with other supporters Saturday at the Carson High School track for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

“We have to embrace all of these people,” she said.”It’s important to get the message across.”

And that is one of the purposes of the Relay for Life, said Martha Aston-Walker, development director for the Northern Nevada chapter of the American Cancer Society.

The other purpose is to raise money for cancer research, and Aston-Walker said this year’s Relay for Life in Carson City raised $35,000, all of which will help cancer victims in Carson City.

Twenty-two teams joined the relay Saturday night. Each team had to keep at least one member on the track until 8 a.m. this morning.

“It’s a demonstration that cancer doesn’t stop,” Aston-Walker said.

It may be a long night, but she said the purpose was to endure a little pain for all the people who have experienced the pain of cancer.

The 120 cancer survivors began the relay with a victory lap around the track. Four-year-old Christopher Lawrence was just one of those survivors.

“He feels vibes here,” said his mother, Kathi.”He gets a little upset.”

Christopher has been battling cancer since he was 12 months old, and his family has attended all of the three relays in Carson City.

“It’s a good reminder you’re not alone,” Kathi said. “I can never do these without crying.”

Three-year-old Daniel Morrison was another young cancer survivor who walked a victory lap. Daniel was named honorary chairperson of the relay and given a crown to wear during the ceremony.

The survivors and their families kept awake at the all-night relay with a salsa dance lesson, a mint-spitting contest, and a pajama fashion show.

“We have to do these crazy things to keep us going,” Aston-Walker said.