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franklin county times

Five cancer survivors named honorary chairmen of Relay for Life

By Staff
RELAY FOR LIFE Camie Heard, standing, who successfully fought appendix cancer, told a crowd Wednesday what it meant to her to be chosen as a Relay for Life honorary chairman. Seated in front of her are Meridian Police Officer Katherine Austin and Mississippi Air National Guard Master Sgt. Bill Larson, cancer survivors who also are serving as honorary chairmen. Photo by Carisa McCain / The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
April 5, 2002
With tearful emotion, Camie Heard told a crowd of people Wednesday what it's like to be a cancer survivor and what Relay for Life means to her.
Heard, a Clarkdale Attendance Center teacher for 20 years, is one of five honorary chairmen of the Lauderdale County Relay for Life. She is a survivor who successfully fought appendix cancer.
Heard is like the other honorary chairmen for the local Relay for Life campaign, all of whom were named in a news conference at Union Station.
They are all cancer survivors. They all represent those in the community who help, serve and protect a teacher, a police officer, a firefighter, a nurse and a national guardsman.
They will come together for the annual fund-raiser, set for 7 p.m. June 7 to 6 a.m. June 8 in Ray Stadium at Meridian High. And they will represent the event's theme: "United We Stand, Together We Walk."
Betty Lou Jones, local chairman of Relay for Life, said the theme draws a parallel between the nation coming together after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the community pulling together to fight cancer.
Janie Gordon, one of this year's honorary chairmen, is a registered nurse in the obstetrics-gynecology unit of Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center where she has worked since 1978.
She is a breast cancer survivor who said she intends to use her time as an honorary chairman to advise people on the importance of detecting cancer early.
Gordon's breast cancer was discovered with a mammogram and was confirmed with a biopsy. She underwent a breast lymphectomy in October.
Another honorary chairman is Katherine Austin, an officer with the Meridian Police Department for two years. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2000 and had surgery that September.
Austin participated in the Relay for Life Survivor's Walk last year for the first time as part of the police department's relay team.
RELAY FOR LIFE
What: Relay for Life, a fund-raising campaign for the American Cancer Society.
When: 7 p.m. June 7 to 6 a.m. June 8.
Where: Ray Stadium, Meridian High School.
Why: To raise cancer awareness and money for research, education and prevention.
How: To join or form a Relay for Life team, call Brenda Compton at 485-5081; to purchase luminaries in honor of or in memory of a loved one, call Diane Griffin at 681-4889; for more information about the campaign or how to participate, call Betty Lou Jones at 482-0166.

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