Hundreds participate in Relay

Published 11:36 pm Friday, April 29, 2011

A number of Dallas County cancer survivors hit the track at Memorial Stadium to take the first lap during the Dallas County Relay for Life Friday night. -- Desiree Taylor

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The smells of barbecue and the sounds of music and fun filled Memorial Stadium Friday evening as hundreds of people crowded the track to walk for a cure to end cancer.

Teams ranging from businesses to school organizations walked in memory or in honor of family and friends who either lost the battle of cancer or survived it.

Vaughan-Regional Medical Center raised nearly $2,000 for cancer. Team members spoke highly of the Dallas County Relay for Life.

“This is just incredible,” said Leland Taylor, director of radiology. “Lot’s of people on our team have family members who have died from cancer or suffered from it so this is really important to us. We have lots of plans for the future to help find a cure.”

Tommie Ray, a member of the First Baptist Church team, is blind. She said no matter what a person’s disability is, he or she should get involved in the fight to end cancer.

“If you can get here, you need to be here,” Ray said smiling.

“I wanted to walk in the relay because I have a lot of family members who died and survived from it.”

Friday’s relay was also a first for some students, like Morgan Academy student, Katie Anne Middleton.

“My grandmother died from lung cancer a few year years ago and my uncle had leukemia,” Middleton said. “I had a lot of fun walking tonight — it’s for a great cause.”

Andrew Swindle, a Morgan Academy graduate whose brother suffered from thyroid cancer, said he was glad to see all the survivors come out in droves.

“It’s good to see cancer didn’t get their spirits down,” Swindle said. “I’m glad it was a great turnout.”

Betty Jones, who walked in memory of her niece, Southside Primary teacher Patricia Calhoun Hardy, said raising money for a cure is very important.

As white Relay for Life bags with names of survivors and those who died from cancer brightened the 400-meter track, and the word “hope” was spelled out boldly in the stands, at 9 p.m. survivors and the community walked the final lap of the night holding lit candles in remembrance and in honor of those who faithfully fought the good fight of faith.