Nearly $60K Raised in Relay for Life

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Whitney Jones/KMXT

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Cancer survivors kick off the 2010 Relay for Life at 6 p.m. Friday by walking the first lap of the 24-hour event. Whitney Jones photo

For 24-hours straight Friday through Saturday, more than 300 people walked the track at Baranof Park. As Whitney Jones reports, they walked to raise money to help fight cancer.

Relay 3:01 SOQ (Host Outro))

Many of them are cancer survivors themselves others have been affected by cancer in some fashion.

Kicking off the event…Area cancer survivors took the first lap.

NAT SND_First Lap All our survivors are you ready?…’music’. Runs:1:10-fade under

Madisyn Sickafoose is 6 years old. She was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer in her left arm in October. She and her mother spent the last nine months in Seattle getting treatment…returning to Kodiak just last month.. Madisyn’s mother Jessica Gardner wears a black hoodie reading "Cancer Sucks." She says even though they’re glad to be back, the struggle is ongoing.

Gardner1 (:16 There’s still lots of things she’s going through on a day to day basis, even though we’re home. She has to go to PT and down in Seattle she saw kids everyday without any hair and kids that were sick like her, but here, there isn’t anybody else, so she’s very self-conscience with her bald head…(Madisyn interrupts her mom))

She adds they have to wait five years without a flare up until doctors will consider Madisyn cured. She says others aren’t as fortunate as Madisyn.

Gardner2 (:12 Even though we’re home…there’s thousands of kids that aren’t home and that are still fighting it and fighting it every day and they need all the support they can get.)

The American Cancer Society raises money to help people with cancer and their families fight back through advocacy and research. Sarah Robinson is with the organization:

Robinson (:27 The event starts off with a survivor lap and for me that’s one of the most moving times because you see our survivors grow in numbers. We’ve sent the cancer death rate declining, so we now have eleven million alive in the U-S and so to see those numbers grow from year to year is really inspiring and it reminds us of why we’re raising all this money to find new research developments and cures for various types of cancer.)

Jessica Skonberg has walked in the Relay for Life for the past three years. She lost her husband just over a year ago to cancer. Skonberg says the American Cancer Society was a major resource during her husband’s illness.

Skonberg1 (:07 They were there for us for with airline tickets and grocery money and just so many different things that were priceless for us.)

Skonberg says like her husband and other cancer patients…even though she and her family was exhausted from walking all night…she didn’t sleep.

Skonberg2 (:18 I’ve been up for twenty four hours, well more than twenty four hours and we walked all night. And it’s just something…it’s a personal goal for me, I don’t feel that I’m here to sleep and I’m not here to rest…I’m here to walk, I’m here to raise money, I’m here to raise awareness, and I’m here to be apart of our community and do something positive.)

Though no one walked the entire 24 hours straight…teams of walkers took shifts on the track. The goal this year was to raise 75-thousand dollars to help fight cancer.

I’m Whitney Jones.

Host Tag: The Kodiak community raised more than $59,000.

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