By Marty Mayfield
The 2014 Colfax County Relay for Life got underway a bit late Friday evening after a whirlwind made its way through the football field and lifted the survivor tent up and over the stadium bleachers into a pickup by the concession stand, a minor setback as Relay continued on.
Again, as has happened so many times at Relay, this year after all the opening ceremonies were completed the clouds let loose a short rain shower, enough to send many scurrying for shelter. Last year’s Relay was rained out as a downpour flooded much of the field and lasted for a couple of hours.
But these little life moments are only a part of what Relay for Life is about, the reminders of what life can bring to so many and not just those that are older but young alike. Nina Padilla who had been full of life and healthy into middle age, found out not long ago how cruel that cancer can be. But as so many have done she too is a survivor and credits the help, determination and support of her family and most of all her mother for being able to beat the cancer.
Little Loralai Guttierez wore a shirt that says, “though she be little she is fierce.” Her mom Chantel spoke as a caregiver and about the struggles they have gone through since Loralai was diagnosed at a very young age with a brain tumor. This young lady has not only battle a brain tumor and won but is now fighting for her life for a fourth time. You will have to watch the video to truly understand what this little girl has been through and the heart break for her family.
Tyler Luksich, almost a staple at Relay updated those about his battle and the fact that he is now in the 8th grade at Cimarron. He also encouraged those to keep up the fight that one day we won’t have to deal with cancer.
Relay started in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Platt walked for 24 hours and raised $27,000. Since then 3.5 million people have made the walk for Relay for Life raising over $5 billion for cancer research. Cancer touches the lives of so many and yet it seems to miss so many. But when it does as one speaker once said at Relay “it was like a death sentence.” Today research has changed that as many more people are survivors. As Ron Chavez spoke, he said his wife has been cancer free now for 11 years.
But as you walk around the track and look at the luminarias that are dedicated to the memory of a loved one you realize the fight is no where near being over. The lives that have been lost are memorialized on a sack with a drawing, a phrase, a poem or simply in memory of. Others dedicate to a loved one the hope for a full recovery. the money raised from the sale of the luminarias goes to help cancer victims in Colfax County. The goal this year is to raise $40,000.