A carnival for a good cause

Communities nationwide are joining the fight against cancer with the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

Saturday, the Relay for Life of Lewis County did its part.

"I relay because my dad is a cancer survivor. He is an 8 year leukemia survivor and we are proud to walk the track with him and for him," Event Chair Leanne Kaylor said.

Hannah Vanaken, a 12-year-old volunteer commented that, "Both my grandmas had cancer so we thought we would come down and help out."

For many of the people dedicating hours of their time to support the Relay for Life of Lewis County, the fight is a personal one.

"Since we started relaying because of him, I've met so many other cancer survivors and their stories, they're all heartbreaking until they're survivors.Then we celebrate them. I keep relaying for all of our survivors," Kaylor said.

For the past three years, Kaylor has dedicated countless hours of her time as chair for this event, which she says has gained plenty of popularity and support within the community. The carnival themed event draws in crowds as well as corporate sponsors from across the Tri-States. It is the largest of Lewis County's Relay for Life events, but numerous other events are held throughout the year.

Games, food and raffles served as fundraisers, but the emotional part comes in the evening when survivors are honored and those lost to cancer are memorialized.

"The time is now. 1 in 4 will get cancer, you can't wait to step up and fight back against it," Kaylor said.

Vanaken said, "... It just makes me feel good."

More community support will be needed as this is the last year Kaylor will serve as event chair. The committee is still searching for the 2013 chair.