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JUNEAU - Celebrate, remember and fight back. That's the goal of Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society's signature activity. It offers communities a chance to have fun while raising funds and awareness of cancer prevention and treatment.
Relay For Life 071509 NEWS 1 CCW Staff Writer JUNEAU - Celebrate, remember and fight back. That's the goal of Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society's signature activity. It offers communities a chance to have fun while raising funds and awareness of cancer prevention and treatment.


Photo Courtesy Of The American Cancer Society Of Alaska

Relay For Life participants get ready for the 2007 race. This year's event begins at 12 p.m. on July 18.


Photo Courtesy Of Shirley Mccoy

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Activities Schedule

July 18
12:20 p.m. Survivor Lap
12:30 p.m. Team Parade
1 p.m. Poker Lap
2 p.m. Crazy Hat Lap
3 p.m. Meet New Friends Lap (People Scavenger Hunt)
4 p.m. Superhero Lap
5 p.m. Potato Sack and Three Legged Races
6 p.m. Cowboy Lap
7 p.m. Bubble Lap
8 p.m. Disco Dress-Up Lap
9 p.m. Pizza Box Toss
10 p.m. Cake Walk
11 p.m. Backwards Lap
July 19
12 a.m. Luminaria Ceremony, speaker Elizabeth Lebert
1 a.m. Dance Party Lap
2 a.m. Love Song Lap
3 a.m. Christmas In July Lap
4 a.m. Best Friends Forever (BFF) Lap
5 a.m. Cake Walk
6 a.m. Clowning Around Lap
7 a.m. Jimmy Buffet Lap
8 a.m. 80s Lap
9 a.m. Pajama Lap and Bed Head Contest
10 a.m. Alma Matter Lap
11 a.m. Masquerade Lap
12 p.m. Closing Ceremony and Cleanup

Entertainment Schedule
July 18
12 p.m. Opening ceremony, survivor lap and team parade. Survivor speakers Sharon Lowe and Shirley McCoy
1 p.m. Alaska's Kit and the Kaboodles
2 p.m. The Rozwick Incident
3 p.m. Brave Monkey
4 p.m. Riphanburg
4:30 p.m. One Aisle Over
5:30 p.m. Janice D. Holst Dancers
6 p.m. Patshiva Belly Dancers
6:30 p.m. The Messing Link
8:30 p.m. Hip-Hop Dance Group
July 19
12 a.m. Luminaria Ceremony, speaker Elizabeth Lebert
9 a.m. Yoga with Ann
10 a.m. Cheerleaders for HOPE
10:30 a.m. The Noodle of Doom Drummers
11 a.m. Tidewater

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Story last updated at 7/15/2009 - 11:32 am

Relay For Life
A celebration of victory and the memory of loved ones lost in the battle against cancer

JUNEAU - Celebrate, remember and fight back. That's the goal of Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society's signature activity. It offers communities a chance to have fun while raising funds and awareness of cancer prevention and treatment.

The Relay began in the mid-1980s when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon in Tacoma, Wash., wanted to find a way to increase support for his local American Cancer Society office. He harnessed his passion for running and turned it into a tradition. Today, Relay for Life takes place in over 5,000 communities in the U.S. and in over 20 countries in the world.

Juneau will hold its own Relay July 18-19 at Diamond Park. The event spans 24 hours, beginning with an opening ceremony and survivor lunch at 12 p.m. on July 18 and ending with a closing ceremony at 12 p.m. on July 19. Participants will set up camp at the park and team members will take turn walking or running during the 24-hour period.

Entertainment and activities will be provided throughout the event, including live music, games, a silent auction and more.

Bank Night will take place from 6-7 p.m. on July 15 at True North Federal Credit Union's Mendenhall Branch. Teams can turn in funds that have already been collected, pick up t-shirts and reserve a campsite.

This year marks the beginning of the American Cancer Society's celebration of 25 years of Relay For Life. For more information about the Relay, visit relayforlifeofjuneau.org.

SURVIVOR'S STORY

Nineteen-year Juneau resident Shirley McCoy and her six-year-old miniature dachshund, Schatzi, have a common bond: both are breast cancer survivors. According to McCoy, early detection saved both of their lives. In Schatzi's case, twice.

While examining Schatzi for fleas, McCoy's boyfriend noticed the "little lumps" which turned out to be cancerous.

"Even for dogs, it pays to have breast exams," McCoy said.

McCoy's battle began in December of 1996 when she noticed a lump about the size of a marble in her cleavage. She'd had a mammogram only six months prior and had previously had non-cancerous fibroid cysts appear, so she didn't think too much of the lump at the time.

A few months later, her doctor encouraged her to have another mammogram, which happened to be scheduled for Valentine's Day of 1997. After a morning of skiing that left her with an injured knee, she hobbled into the hospital on crutches that afternoon for her mammogram.

"They immediately decided I needed an ultrasound," McCoy said. "I'd had several mammograms and they had never said ultrasound before."

After testing, McCoy was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and immediately began treatment. She had a series of surgeries and traveled to Anchorage for radiation treatment, after which she continued with chemotherapy.

"There was a fifty-fifty chance with this particular chemo that I wouldn't lose my hair," McCoy said. "I remember telling my oncology nurse one day, 'My biggest fear is I'm just going to be walking across the post office parking lot one day and my hair is going to fly off in somebody's face.'"

She did lose her hair, but managed to keep her positive outlook in tact.

"I really feel like the sense of humor is paramount," McCoy said. "Faith, friends and family; if you've got that combination, you're set."

McCoy has now been cancer-free for 12 years. Along her journey with cancer she met many people, several of whom contacted her after her treatment was over seeking advice for friends. She has used her past experience to counsel others who are currently battling the disease.

"It's a rewarding feeling," McCoy said.

She is also active with Women of the Moose and has participated in many community fundraisers and other volunteer service opportunities.

McCoy will speak at the Relay's opening ceremony, and she and Schatzi plan to participate in the survivor lap.


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