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Relay for Life kicks off next month

By Staff
Melissa Cason
With New Year's only a few days away, the Franklin County Relay For Life Committee is making final preparations for the upcoming Relay kickoff.
Committee Chairperson Belinda Johnson said the final preparations are being made for the kickoff, which will be held Jan. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church.
This year's guest speaker is Cancer Survivor Milford "Mousey" Murray.
"Mousey is really positive even though he's been going through treatment," Committee Member Belinda Murray said. "He's really an inspiration."
The kickoff is a night dedicated to getting teams information needed to the upcoming Relay season. All the old teams as well as anyone interested in starting a team should attend the kickoff.
"We are searching for new teams," Johnson said. "We are always looking for new teams, but this year, we are making additional effort to find new teams and sponsors for Relay."
Johnson also said the committee is trying to reach more survivors this year.
"We have survivors who p1articipate in Relay, but we want all cancer survivors to know that they are invited to come and participate in Relay even if they don't want to have a team," Johnson said.
During Relay, there is a special meal for survivors and it's harder to find cancer survivors than you might think.
"The new privacy laws tell us we can't ask for lists of cancer patients and survivors," Johnson said. "They have to come to us."
Johnson said that it's also for patients to know that they don't have to be in remission to be a survivor.
"Anyone who has ever had a diagnosis is a survivor even if they are still undergoing treatment," Volunteer Coordinator with American Cancer Society Beth Faulkner said.
This year's Relay for Life will be held May 1, 2009 at the Russellville High School football stadium.