by Randy Clark

I attended my first American Cancer Society event last January. It was the 2011 Plainfield, Indiana, Relay for Life kick-off meeting. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was more than I could have expected.

It’s Life Altering 

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.*

The Meeting

The meeting began with refreshments, served by Tom Hickerson, from the Plainfield Noodles & Co. Next, the team chairpersons were introduced. Steve Bahr, from Duke Energy, spoke from a sponsor’s perspective. Dale, from Oliver Road Recovery, shared a moving video about transporting cancer patients.

Relay for Life began in 1985. It has grown into the world’s largest movement to end the disease. Each year, more than 3.5 million people in 5,000 communities participate.*


Then… Jack, a seven-year-old survivor, got up in front of 50 people and talked about what cancer didn’t take from him. My eyes filled with tears. He shared how cancer didn’t take away the love of his family, his faith, and his friendships. I was moved.

At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. *


Sarah, a 16-year-old Plainfield student athlete, spoke next. She shared her family’s battle with her brother’s cancer. She talked about how, last year, he was in remission and able to attend college, and how this year…the cancer was back and he wasn’t well enough to attend school. My tears fell.

The Plainfield relay was held June 11th and 12th at the Metropolis Mall on Futura Parkway, Plainfield, Indiana.

·    $39,000 has been raised, so far
·    28 teams participated
·    250+ people relayed
·    7 Sponsors contributed over $4000
·    30 Survivors and their caregivers assembled — including Jack and Sarah

Bark For Life Hendricks County is next! On August 13th,  at Washington Township Park, in Avon from 9am – 1pm. Bring your dogs and fight back against cancer in a leisurely walk.

* cited from