Some of the cancer survivors, who turned out Friday for the annual Dallas County Relay for Life, get ready for the event’s opening, ceremonial survivor lap. -- Robert Hudson

Relay for Life: Working to conquer cancer

Published 12:41am Saturday, April 28, 2012

“Cancer does not sleep … cancer does not sit down,” Dallas County Relay for Life chair Tanya Miles said while addressing the energized crowds during Friday’s annual Relay for Life.

Hundreds crowded Memorial Stadium to celebrate the lives of those who survived cancer and those who lost their life to it. Smiling faces and happy spirits came together for one purpose — to “tailgate for a cure.” Organizers were pleased with the events and support leading up to the final event.

“I feel great, great, great,” Miles said, exuberantly. “There are no words to express how I feel right now — I feel good; this event is awesome. We’ve had 41 teams to sign up (and) 35 teams that set up. We left bank night exceeding our goal. To God be the glory … that’s all I can say.”

Breast cancer survivors Viola J. Dudley and Mary Tripp said they are grateful and feel the relay is always important.

“It’s important because cancer survivors have a chance to get together and let other people know who’s going through, that no sickness is nigh until death,” Dudley said, who has been a survivor for nearly 10 years. “It’s all about having a positive attitude; my motto: don’t let cancer beat you, you beat cancer. We’re all survivors through God’s grace.”

Tripp, who has been a survivor for seven years, said the event is a continual inspiration.

“Breast cancer has been in my family and (has) taken several loved ones; my mother died in January,” Tripp said. “It (the relay) makes you work that much harder to find a cure. We know what we’ve been through. We want to work harder to make sure others don’t have to go through what we went through with medicines and chemo.”

For Selma fitness instructor Gladys Powell, this was her first relay. Powell said it is a blessing to see survivors conquer cancer despite the odds.

“You can survive cancer, there is a cure for it,” Powell said. “People have survived 42 to 52 years. Just because you have cancer doesn’t mean you have to give up your life. You can beat the disease.”

Graduating senior Ashley Moore has been a “Relay for Life baby” since the age of 5. She has been a bone cancer survivor for 13 years. The American Cancer Society presented her with a $1,000 scholarship Friday.

“I feel like I will do anything possible to help the survivors and help raise money for survivors and cancer research,” Moore said. “It’s a big part of my life and it’s always on my heart.”

To culminate the event, survivors lined the track to see lit luminaries that spelled out “hope.”

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