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Cancer survivors invited to Relay for Life

Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2002

The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life participants will take to the track July 27 at Dimond Park to show support for those affected by cancer.

"Everyone has been touched with someone who has had cancer," relay participant Stan Ridgeway said. "I wanted to do something for a good cause."

The relay is a 12-hour event in which teams of eight to 12 people camp overnight and take turns walking or running around the track. Local entertainment and refreshments will highlight the relay.

The relay has taken place this year in Fairbanks, Kenai, Wasilla and Anchorage. This will be the first time it has been held in Juneau.

The opening ceremony will be at 6 p.m. July 27, and the relay will wrap up at 6 a.m. July 28.

"After the opening ceremony is the survivor lap, and we have invitations all over town," said Tuula Marquardt, volunteer and organizer of the event. "Hopefully we can reach as many as possible and they will come in great groups."

Messing Link, a band that consists of several brothers from the Messing family, will perform, as will Jim Griswold and Archie Cavanaugh. Mary DeSmet and Greg Burger will perform before the midnight luminaria ceremony.

"At midnight, Steve Almstead from Chapel by the Lake offered to do the ceremony," Marquardt said. "The candles will be put on the track all lined up to remember the ones who were lost to cancer."

Marquardt said the cancer survival rate is now over 50 percent.

"Soon we would like to say 75 percent, and of course, the goal is 100," Marquardt said. "There will be materials here and cancer-control activities for all kinds of cancer."

A physician who specializes in cancer will be available to answer questions. Marquardt said anyone is invited to participate, even if he or she doesn't belong to a team. Every walker on a team and survivors receives a T-shirt.

Margie Ridgeway is participating in the event because she wants to support Marquardt, who is a cancer survivor.

"I wanted to support her in her endeavors," Ridgeway said. "It's the first year of the Relay for Life and I think it's a good effort and a good project."

Emily Wescott can be reached at ewescott@juneauempire.com.



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