Thursday was the perfect day for a perfect relay: the Iron Mountain Relay for Life.
Participants were getting the hundreds of luminaries ready to line the whole track; luminaries to honor someone who has battled or is battling cancer. But as soon as 2:00 p.m. struck, it was time to hit the pavement. 24 teams and over 140 participants were at the Relay for Life event. One team formed to support their classmate, â??JTâ?? who is currently battling cancer.
â??It was hard on all of us; it was heartbreaking,â?? said classmate, Lindsay Morel. â??It was about a couple weeks after we found out about his illness that we decided to make a team.â??
However, of all the participants and volunteers, it's safe to say little baby â??Lilyâ?? is the youngest. Sheâ??s less than 30 hours old, but her mother Heidi was determined to make the relay, a supportive spirit her aunt Sheri is grateful for.
â??I had breast cancer 12 years ago; it returned about two and a half years ago,â?? said cancer survivor, Sheri Stepien. â??Iâ??m doing well because of my support that I have here and Heidiâ??s always been one of my biggest supporters. Now we have another generation to start.â??
All ages are welcome to walk, and in fact, anyone in the public can come throughout the event during the night and into the morning to walk laps. Relay for Life is a 24-hour event which means participants will be talking turns walking continuously, and the Dickinson County residents came well-prepared. People were already grilling out and setting up tents for the giant slumber party, excited for tonight's activities.
â??Walking, looking at all the crazy people that come, they're hilarious,â?? said Hailey Currie. â??Then at night there's a whole bunch of glow sticks that people wear and also I love when they spell 'Hope' in the bleachers.â??
Coordinators said they've already raised $50,000 and are hoping to raise $70,000 total in the fight against cancer, a fight where everyone is all on the same team.