In a word, Relay for Life symbolizes hope

How much can you describe in one word?

Some people may find it easier than others.

For one Quincy woman, one word is all it took to change her life.

She now hopes that word will inspire you to live by another word ... support.

Bobbi Wellman says, "Devastating."

Everyone knows that word ...including Bobbie Wellman. These days she wakes up everyday with another word on her mind. Thankful. Thankful she's able to pour herself a cup of coffee to start her day. Thankful she's glad to even have a day to start. 15 years ago, another word was rattling around Bobbi's brain.

Wellman says, "Cancer."

Wellman says there is a lot of cancer in her family.

Wellman says, "My diagnosis was breast cancer."

Survivor. That's the word that describes Bobbi Wellman now. That's why she's so involved in the Adams County Relay for Life. "The relay means to me more birthdays. The relay means to me that hopefully at some going we will end this disease and no one else in my family or anywhere has to hear that word cancer," Wellman said.

For the last 12 years, Wellman has been at the front of the Relay for Life. I asked her what it means to her, even now 15 years later, to walk that survivor's lap.

"It is inspirational. It is emotional. There are hundreds of survivors who are walking that lap with you hand in hand. You know that it can be beat," Wellman said. "You see the community support of everyone sitting in the bleachers."

The American Cancer Society wants to get as many survivors to the relay on June 8th as possible. If you'd like to go, contact the Cancer Society. There are also many ways you can help. You can start a team and walk in the relay.

"It's not too late to start a team at this point, no. You can come out that night and decide to start a team. You don't have to be part of a team to be a part of the event," Karen Moran said.

Donate. You can donate to a team, or just show up at the event where there are other fund raisers that night. The money raised from the relay goes to the American Cancer Society, but not all of it goes to research.

"Right here in Quincy, there are programs like the Reach to Recovery program where we partner up cancer survivors to go through their journey," Moran says. "We have the Road to Recovery program to help people who may not be able to get back and forth to their treatments."

There also the Look Good, Feel Good program where women are pampered so they look beautiful going through their treatments. All of those programs are free thanks to the money raised at Relay for Life.

"There is a buzz and a feel around relay that gives you so much hope." Moran said.

Hope. Another word that Bobbi Wellman lives by. She hopes her story gives other hope that they can beat this disease.

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To gear up for it, there is a 5-K Breast Cancer Walk called Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

It'll be held Saturday May 19th at Moorman Park at 9:00 a.m.