ACS Relay is Saturday

Flanary

Hundreds of Massac County residents will join together at the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Massac County on Saturday to help finish the fight against cancer.

This year's Relay will be held at a new time -- beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday in uptown Metropolis.

It will officially be named: Southern Seven Counties Colors of Cancer--Relay For Life event.

"I am really excited about this year's Relay event," stated Lisa Konemann Davis, local committee chair. "Being on the committee, we felt like we needed to 'shake things up a bit' to get more of the community involved. This year it will be a daytime event instead of evening. We have added the Color Fun Run (or walk if you don't run) that will include all ages. "

Live music, survivor and luminaria recognition, team activities and vendors are also planned.

This year's Relay ambassador will be Rebecca Flanary of Metropolis, a cancer survivor who had a large tumor removed from her spine in early 2010.

When diagnosed in November 2009, her mother, Rosemary Pugh, was also sick with terminal adenocarcinoma cancer.

Doctors from both Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas joined forces to remove the tumor, which resulted in a 15-hour surgery.

Cancer-free now, Flanary decided to go into the nursing field following both her and her mother's battle with cancer. She is now a LPN at Stonecreek Health and Rehabilitation Center in Paducah.

Pugh lost her battle on Feb. 13, 2011 at the age of 41.

"My mom saved my life," said Flanary. Following her mother's diagnosis, she contacted her physician and demanded tests be run on her to make sure she too wasn't playing host to an unknown killer -- cancer. The results of the tests, which indicated she too had cancer, surprised not only Flanary but her doctor, who then referred her to a specialist in St. Louis.

Prior to the surgery to remove the tumor, her team of doctors had two mock surgeries to prepare for the removal of the tumor. And because of the success of the surgery, Flanary did not have to have chemotherapy or radiation; however, she did have several issues with her bladder, due to the location of the tumor, and walking.

Flanary and other cancer survivors are invited to attend the annual ACS Survivors' Breakfast on Saturday from 8-9 a.m. at Happy Heart's Senior Citizens Center on Market Street before the Color Fun Run.

The sorority sisters of Psi Eta will host a free complimentary breakfast for those in Massac County who have battled all forms of cancer and those who are still in treatment.

All survivors and a guest are welcome to attend and enjoy a morning of fellowship and homemade goodies, including a variety of casseroles, muffins, cheese grits, bacon, fresh fruit, juice and coffee.

The Colors of Cancer Color Fun Run/Walk registration will begin immediately after the breakfast at 9 a.m. with the non-timed run starting at 10 a.m.

Pre-event registration fees are $20 for adults; $10 for children, 10 and under; and children 2 and under are free.

Day of event registration is $25 for adults and youth, ages 11 and over; $15 for children, ages 3-10; and free for children, 2 and under. Included with registration, all participants will receive a T-shirt and Fun Run goodie bag.

What is a color run? It is a family-friendly untimed event with no official winners or race times, and participants may run or walk.

At each color stop, participants are doused from head to toe in a different colored powder. Participants wear white at the starting line and finish the run covered in color.

Once the run is over, the fun continues with music, photo ops, activity booths, vendors and a final massive color throw.

Vendors will begin setting up their tents at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Some vendors will include makeup, home baked goods and homemade dishrags, mini doughnuts, haircuts, plus much more.

"The Relay for Life committee has worked hard this year to try and make this a successful Relay to raise funds needed for research and services provided by the ACS. We would like to encourage the whole community to come up on Market Street on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to approximately 2 p.m. to support the cause," said Davis. "You can support the Relay by supporting the many vendors and local businesses who will be set up along Market Street. Many businesses on Market are contributing a portion of their sales on this one-day in support of the relay.

"We also have several restaurants and businesses that will be contributing a percentage of that day's sales total to the Relay, so you can continue enjoying your day after the event by patronizing on of those restaurants," added Davis.

For additional information, contact Davis at 618-638-2444, nahury2@comcast.net; or Olivia Majerchin, ACS staff partner, at 404-653-5323 or Olivia.majerchin@cancer.org.

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