Relay For Life holds annual event

Published 9:12 pm Friday, June 2, 2017

The Selma and Dallas County Relay for Life was held Friday night as a few hundred people came together to celebrate cancer survivors and to fight alongside those battling with the disease.

Around 30 cancer survivors and 40 teams participated in the annual event, that raised more than $90,000 as of early Friday night according to Bridget Mills, senior community manager with the American Cancer Society.

And despite rainfall in the afternoon, the event went on.

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“We are extremely excited and pleased with the turnout despite the weather,” Mills said. “I think it’s a huge success, and I just want to thank Selma and Dallas County for sticking with us and being determined to have this celebration.”

Lou Ella Guthridge, a breast cancer survivor of 15 years, said she enjoys coming to Relay and it makes her happy to talk with other survivors and see the community rally around them.

“It means I can come out and celebrate along with other survivors, the goodness of the Lord,” Guthridge said. “I am an educator, and I have always participated in Relay for Life by raising funds, and it just means so much to me because these funds can be used to further the advancement for a cure for cancer.”

Guthridge said when she first learned that she had cancer, she didn’t believe it, and it’s taken her a while to get to where she is now.

“When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t accept the fact that I was a breast cancer patient,” Guthridge said. “So, it took a lot of prayer to bring me to where I am today. I am a firm believer that I am healed in Jesus’ name.”

Ebony Johnson, Rural Health Development Program team leader, said this is the first year her team has participated and with a goal of $500, she was happy to say they raised $605.

“We’re out here celebrating Relay for Life and joining in on the mission to fight cancer,” Johnson said. “Relay for Life means a lot. It represents the ones who battled cancer. It means so much to the community.”

Guthridge said it just makes her happy to see the support from the community.

“It makes me happy, grateful and thankful [to see everyone participate]. There will be one day a cure for cancer,” Guthridge said.

“I’m just glad to be here today and I look forward to a long life, free from cancer. I’m healed in Jesus’ name.”