Walking for a Cause

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life may be about raising money for cancer research, but it also honors those who have been affected by the disease.

Relay for Life events around the nation give survivors a chance to celebrate their good health with event activities such as the Survivor Lap. This lap opens every Relay for Life event around the country.

“Whenever you take a lap around for the Survivor Lap, everyone is just cheering you on and there’s all this positive energy just, like, hope for survival,” said caregiver Genevieve Rodriguez. “It’s just a great atmosphere.”

Cancer survivors receive a special T-shirt and sash to wear during the duration of the event so that everyone knows they have overcome the disease.

Their caregivers also receive a commemorative sash to wear.

“Now as a survivor of an insidious breast cancer, which could come back at any time, to be considered a survivor is a wonderful miracle,” said survivor Eileen Golisz.

Luminary bags are another way that Relay for Life participants can honor family and friends that are continuing to fight or have died of cancer.

Each bag is decorated and then lined up along the track. They are lit with candles during the Luminaria Ceremony that takes place at night along with a silent lap, where participants walk the track in silence to memorialize loved ones who have died of cancer.

To learn more about Relay for Life and its contributions to the American Cancer Society, visit www.relayforlife.org.

Brandon woman beats cancer

 

Brandon, Fla.—Two years ago, Eva Johnson was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at age 30.

Johnson said it was important for her to remain positive while she was fighting the disease.

“I didn’t let it control me,” Johnson said.  “I was in charge of that cancer, so taking it day by day was first and foremost for me.”

Johnson underwent several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries.

“Going through all of that, it’s nothing you want anybody to have to go through,” Johnson said.  “It’s probably the worst thing I’ve ever been through.”

Johnson said her family helped her through the process.

“I tried to be her strength when she was weak,” Nichole McDonald, Johnson’s sister, said.  “I just tried to be positive, encourage her through her rough days, and remind her that brighter days are ahead of her and she could get through it.”

Johnson’s positivity also came from her son, Mason.

“He needs his mommy, and I planned on staying around for him for a long time,” Johnson said.

A year after her first surgery, Johnson learned she was cancer-free.

“When I found out, I was at the car dealership getting my oil changed, and I had to wait a whole week,” Johnson said. “Those five days were the worst. I was stressed, I was on edge, I cried every day about it.  And then when I found out, I screamed, I was out in the parking lot. I said, ‘I got the news’.”

 

 

Florida Focus: 10-27-2014

In this episode of Florida Focus: An American Airlines pilot was sentenced and charged with possession of child porn; a twelve year old Palmetto boy bought illegal drugs to his middle school; prices at the pumps hit a four year nation wide low; a broken water main in Tampa; “Pink heals” tour at Moffit cancer center.

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