Chenango Relay for Life participants share their stories ... Part IV

Editor’s Note: As a lead-up to this weekend’s Chenango County Relay for Life (July 16-17 at the Chenango County Fairgrounds), we’ve asked several participants to share their personal stories with Evening Sun readers. This is Why I Relay ...

Christine Johnson

Captain – Relay Pacers Relay Team

I Relay because in 1999 - 2000, I had a girlfriend that I watched trying to fight her cancer. She had 3 very small children, whom she loved very much. One minute she was fine, and the next she was fighting.

She fought for a year and lost her life April of 2000.

I did all that I could; I cooked things for them, raised money and took them groceries. I raised money and went Christmas shopping for them. We did a benefit; nothing ever seemed to be enough.

I had 2 other people in my life before her - a close neighbor, and an Aunt, but she was the first one I really saw what she went through, and it was a terrible thing. It is something you can’t explain.

Since her, I have seen many others including a girlfriend’s mother, and her uncle, a girlfriend’s father, a friend’s son, co-workers, other distant family members and other town members that have passed. I now have a brother-in-law, and my girlfriend’s niece that are fighting, until this terrible thing takes them from us. It is just endless.

No matter what we do, it just doesn’t seem to be enough, but I feel better knowing that I at least try, and in the last 10 years it has gotten better. People do live longer, but hopefully someday it will even cure completely - that is what I wish for and why I Relay. To the hope that someday, this nasty thing will be just a curable sickness.

Kelly Carper

Survivor & Participant – Norwich Pharmaceuticals Relay Team

I Relay because this cause is very important to me. Not only because I am a survivor but my family and friends have been touched by cancer. I’m there for all the survivors and to remember and honor those who fought but are only here in our memories now. At the Relay, we are all winners!

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