Each year, the American Cancer Society hosts its Relay For Life fundraising event in cities across the nation to support the fight against cancer.
Teams of supporters gather for this overnight event to raise funds and walk all night to show their commitment to finding a cure for cancer. If you talk to cancer survivors at Relay, most will tell you that they walk not only for themselves but for their children. Their hope is that their children will never be diagnosed with cancer.
It is with this hope that the American Cancer Society's "Relay Kid" Contest, presented by the Central Kentucky News-Journal and KB Photography, was hosted to support the Relay For Life events of Taylor, Adair and Green counties.
In this contest, photos of children throughout the region were posted on the American Cancer Society's Web site so that family, friends and the public could view and "vote" on their favorite photo, which consisted of a minimum $10 donation to the American Cancer Society. Each dollar donated in the contest was a "vote" for that child, and the child with the most "votes" received a photo shoot with KB Photography with one of the photos featured with this article.
This year's winner was Kayli Patterson of Campbellsville, who raised $345 for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Taylor County.
Her parents are Kenny and Jamie Patterson.
"I put Kayli in the contest because Relay For Life is something that I have been active in since it started in Taylor County," Jamie Patterson said. "I have always been a part of the bank's team in some way. This year I was team captain, and last year I held the accounting chair on the committee. It is something I believe very strongly in supporting and plan to continue supporting. Hopefully, with continued support, one day cancer will be one less thing for my little girl or her little girl to worry about."
Taylor Blevins, Gabby Pyles and Molly Pyles, all of Campbellsville, also participated in the "Relay Kid" contest.
The money raised supports the American Cancer Society's work throughout the year to eliminate cancer by providing funding for cancer research, community education, advocacy and patient support services.
The American Cancer Society has many programs and services available to those who are battling cancer including the following:
- Reach to Recovery: A one-on-one peer support program where breast cancer survivors respond to concerns of people who are going through breast cancer diagnosis or treatment by providing information, supplies and personal support and experience.
- Look Good...Feel Better: A free program facilitated by licensed cosmetologists that helps women cope with appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment by teaching them beauty tips that can help enhance their looks and boost their self-image.
- Man to Man: A program that helps men cope with prostate cancer by providing community-based education and support to patients and their families.
- Transportation: The American Cancer Society provides grant funds to qualifying hospitals or treatment centers to assist cancer patients with recurring and chronic transportation needs when no other assistance is available.
- Hope Lodge: If a patient should have to leave the area for cancer treatment, the American Cancer Society offers free lodging for cancer patients currently undergoing treatment at its Hope Lodges in Lexington and Nashville, Tenn.
- College Scholarship: Each year, the American Cancer Society awards $1,000 scholarships to young cancer survivors. Eligible students must have had a cancer diagnosis before age 21, maintain a 2.5 GPA, be under the age of 25, and have been accepted to an accredited college, university or vocational school.
- Cancer Survivors Network: A virtual community created by and for survivors where they can share experiences and provide support.
- Gift Items: Wigs, turbans, breast prostheses and prosthetic bras are some of the items available free of charge to cancer patients through the American Cancer Society Bowling Green Office, located at 952 Fairview Ave., Suite 4.
Next year's Relay For Life event in Taylor County is set for June 12 at Taylor County High School.
For more information on a Relay For Life in your community, call the American Cancer Society Bowling Green Office at (270) 782-9036. For cancer information anytime, day or night, contact the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.