It was an emotional night in Santa Maria Tuesday night as cancer survivors, caregivers and volunteers came together to kickoff the American Cancer Society’s 2017 “Relay For Life” fundraising campaign.
The event was held to get people thinking now about how to get involved in what some have described as a life-changing experience.
They gathered at the Pacific Christian Center in Santa Maria Tuesday night in unity of spirit, passion and purpose.
The theme for the 2017 Santa Maria Valley Relay For Life is “Be a Hero of Your Own Story”.
12 year old Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor Faith Debrum and her father Ronnie shared her heroic story of fighting and beating cancer.
“During my treatment I felt scared, sick and worried”, Faith Debrum told those in attendance, “I had so many wonderful people who comforted me in ways I cannot describe.”
“20 years ago Faith’s cancer was a death sentence”, Ronnie Debrum said, “today it carries a better than 95 percent cure rate and that’s what we all want to hear right?”
Tears flowed as the powerful Luminaria ceremony honored those who lost their heroic fight.
It was a multi-media presentation to get people excited and motivated ahead of the big, 24 hour event next year.
“Just get involved, whether its coming out and being on the committee, being part of the ELT, starting a team, just coming out the day of to help us”, said Relay For Life local coordinator Deb Jeffers, “go to someone’s fundraiser, you see them online, you seem them on a community calendar, just be a part of it.”
The 2017 Santa Maria Valley Relay For Life will be June 24, 2017 at the Santa Maria Fairpark.