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May 30, 2013

Come Join the Survivors at the Relay for Life

by Chris Tinkle, Scotland County Committee chair for survivors.

On June 7th, our Scotland County Relay for Life will be held again on the square in Memphis. I am the chairperson for our Relay's Survivors reception, Chris Tinkle, and why I relay is perhaps why many of us share in participating in our local Relay every year. Our Survivors play such an important part in the Relay; perhaps the most important one. I know that, as a 20 year cancer survivor, it is a joy to see everyone that participates in our local Survivors walk every year. I have not only fought the battle and had a survival rate of 20 years but I too have suffered the pain, the emotional fight, the physical fight, the medical fight, along with the strain that you and your family endure and the scars that my body will carry forever as a survivor. Every day, when I look into that mirror and see what cancer has done to me, my prayer is that no one will ever have to endure what I had to go through. I know that so many share this same emotion every day. Everyone that is out there in their purple shirt walking as a survivor on the evening of our Relay shares in this also. I know that if you have been recently diagnosed or perhaps you are also one that has shared in a long survival success story as I have, you know the importance of seeing all those purple shirts out there on that night and know that our hope is to see many, many more every year. To know that there is HOPE is what the Relay means to me.

I would like to extend the invitation to all survivors to join us on June 7th at the Masonic Lodge reception hall from 4:30 to 6:15 that evening to pick up your free purple shirt and enjoy the reception with refreshments provided by the Bank of Memphis Branch of the Bank of Kirksville and a cake provided by Brenda Long. Our banner carriers this year are Larry Spray, Lester McElroy, and Lonnie Triplett. Each year we recognize someone in our community that has been an inspiration in their fight and has helped others through their struggle. The recipient of this award remains anonymous until that night and it is voted by survivors that attend the relay every year, so come and see who we will honor this year.

I know that the Relay is one way that the American Cancer Society raises money to help in the fight against cancer so just think with the research that they do, they have helped contribute to a 20% drop in cancer death rates since the early 1990's. For 100 years, they have been transforming cancer from deadly to treatable to preventable. They have many educational programs out there such as the Reach to Recovery Program, one that I personally used, and now I help others as they go through breast cancer with temporary prosthetic forms that are provided free by the American Cancer Society. There is also the Look Good Feel Good program that Natalie Cook has available to our community, and many more programs available by contacting our local American Cancer Society. Brenda Carlin from Hannibal, MO is our local staff partner @1-573-221-1795 or 1-800-227-2345. ACS is helping to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

My hope is that everyone should share in a survival success story such as mine. My heart, as well as others, goes out to every family that is not able to share with their loved one. Early detection, my gift from God above, and the support from my family and friends has contributed to my successful journey and why I choose to Relay every year.

So come join us and support all those that are fighting the fight and for those who are survivors and also as we share in the remembrance of all the loved ones that we have lost to cancer. We hope to see lots of purple the night of the relay so come early and support our survivors and also our teams that have worked so hard this past year. Purchasing supper and refreshments is just a small way of saying thank-you to our teams for all the hard work they have done. We are all working hard to find a cure for cancer and share the hope that all who are fighting will become survivors and that everyone will get to share their birthday with their loved ones.

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