Relay for Life has been held in Lincoln since 1998, with local teams
raising thousands of dollars each year. According to the American
Cancer Society, "The money raised through Relay For Life events
helps realize the American Cancer Society's mission to save lives,
celebrate life, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.
Donations are used to fund life-saving cancer research, patient
support services, prevention and education information, and
detection and treatment programs."
Carolyn Mosley registered participants as they came in, as she has
been doing for the past several years.
Handing out survivor's shirts was Tonita Reifsteck, who has been
working with the relay for many years.
This year, the Master of Ceremonies was Jeff Benjamin. After a
brief history of the event was read, teams were introduced and did
their team laps. This year's teams included Angie's Angels; Gail's
Pumpkin Patch; St. Peter's Lutheran in Emden; Northern Lights;
Purpose Driven People; Level 4 Health Management; Dana's Team;
Angels All Around; Faith, Hope, and Love; Josh's Jokers; Emblem
Angels; St. John's UCC Remembers; Friends Walking for a Cure; and
Team Lisa. Teams were walking to celebrate members being cancer
free, remember those who lost lives, find a cure, honor friends and
family affected by cancer. A few teams have been involved in the
event for 20 years.
This year's Honorary Chairpersons were Phyllis White and Bobbi
Cozaihr, and both shared the stories of their cancer journeys.
White was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2009 and had two
treatments a day for five days. After the treatments, she began
chemotherapy. White said treatments were hard and wreaked havoc on
her body, but she is now an eight year survivor and thanked her
husband Jim White. Her husband then read a poem honoring those who
have fought cancer.
Cozaihr was diagnosed in August 2016 at age 16. She had a mass on her abdomen
and two types of cancer in her ovaries and one that was in stage three.
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Cozaihr is a swimmer and hated having to miss so much school and the swimming
season. Cozaihr lost a lot of weight and after losing most of her hair decided
to shave it off. She completed chemotherapy October 30, 2016 and was declared
cancer free November 9, 2016. Cozaihr appreciates the support she received from
family and friends.
White and Cozaihr led the survivor's walk, which also included many survivors
from the area.
Entertainment included the Good News choir and Trash band.
For the second year in a row, a vendor fair was held with vendors donating part
of their proceeds to the relay. In addition, there was a silent auction and live
Luminarias lining the inside of the track listed names of those who had been
affected by cancer honoring survivors and remember those who lost their lives to
Bill Post was in charge of the luminarias, a role he has had since 2003. Post
helps write out names before the event and assists in reading each name aloud
during what is one of the more reverent periods near the end of the Relay.
People of all ages came out to support those fighting the disease, their
caretakers and to help raise funds to find a cure for cancer.