Several hundred cancer survivors, caregivers and supporters attended the 2019 Relay for Life of Dallas County at the Perry High School gymnasium Saturday, sharing their stories, their sorrows and their celebrations over a community meal and numerous activities.
Ceremonies began with an invocation and the singing of the national anthem. Longtime Relay for Life organizer Toshia Garnes Schrader of Perry then introduced the survivors’ lap, caregivers’ lap and team lap.
The 2019 Relay for Life of Dallas County Honorary Survivor Kay Finneseth of Perry told the story of her journey through breast cancer in 2015. She said her Christian faith supported her in her illness, and God sent “angels” to recommend breast reduction surgery and early cancer surgery.
“God knew I was going to get cancer,” Finneseth said, “and he put those human angels in my life.”
She said her career as a hospice-care nurse gave her courage, and her family and her faith gave her strength.
“God loves us, and he doesn’t want us to hurt,” Finneseth said, “but he does know that we have a journey.”
A full slate of activities kept the attendees occupied, and the fundraising was successful through a silent auction — every item sold, and they were numerous — and Luminaria bag sales.
The annual event ended with the hopeful Luminaria laps, when the dead and the living fill the hearts and minds of all.