Relay for Life survivors lap at the Emery High track.
Relay For Life is an event to commemorate those who have suffered from cancer and have survived and those who lost their lives to cancer. The Relay For Life was held July 15 at the Emery High School athletic track and football field. The track was decorated at the starting line with a Relay For Life banner and balloons. Around the edge of the track were paper bags with the names of a cancer victims. The candle inside was to be lit after dark. These are called luminaries. Across the whole football field, tents were set up offering a variety of items for purchase. In most cases any profit derived was being donated to the Relay For Life. Jerry and Gerry Stotler were cooking hot dogs and hamburgers on one edge of the field.
The committee of the Relay For Life had set up a tent near the South end of the field and were serving a great meal for a small fee. All cancer survivors were encouraged to check in at the Relay For Life table receive a purple T-shirt and a ticket for the meal.
Wayne Urie of Ferron announced the opening ceremonies. John Doria of Ferron gave the opening prayer. A Scout troop posted the colors and led the pledge of allegiance, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Mia Bella Doria.
Diane Tadehara of Ferron read a poem written by a local cancer survivor from Carbon County. The title was Seasons Of Hope. Then she announced Chad Hurst as the speaker for this event from Salt Lake City. There he owns a photography business. He was first interested in photography as a little boy. When he was a teenager he was working at a small community newspaper in Dallas, Texas. At the age of 21 he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. This has shaped his life and gave him inspiration for an organization called, "Can Survive." He is the co-founder of this fund raising organization. This organization gives support to survivors. "We welcome Chad to Emery County," said Tadehara.
Chad said, he would prefer to be behind the camera instead of in front of people speaking. That is why he bought the biggest camera they made.
My story is not very exceptional: I was diagnosed at 21 with bladder cancer which is not a young man's cancer. I had just returned home from working with Mung refugees in California. They have an exceptional story of fighting for the CIA. I thought it was interesting that I had to come home and fight my own battle in a different way with cancer. You cannot run away from your own body, you just have to deal with it. That was 14 years ago today when I was diagnosed with
That was 14 years ago today when I was diagnosed with cancer and 13 years ago I was cleared of cancer. The day you are diagnosed with cancer sticks in your memory. Your life starts from that point and you have to move forward. A simple quote from Abraham Lincoln says, ' The good thing about the future is it happens one day at a time.' As a photographer I shoot photos for large companies. I shoot for Sports Illustrated, New York Times Magazine and a lot of advertising clients.
"But this cancer thing is the most important thing that I have done in my life. The outstanding thing about these survivors is that they battle cancer with dignity and without fear.
"Winston Churchill said, 'History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.'
"We can find a purpose in everything that happens to us. We can help others, we can raise money for research, needs beyond medicine, raise money to help people that cannot pay for their treatments. I am proud to be part of this event. It is a pleasure to be here," said Hurst.
Wayne Urie and Diana Tadehara presented Chad Hurst with a gift for being a part of Emery County's Relay For Life.
Tadehara took the microphone and said, "Take a stand and help out, whether it is helping with Relay or helping people in their fight with cancer."
Tadehara then said, "This year Wylie Nelson is being honored for surviving his battle with cancer. He has many stories about his survival that he could tell you. We give to him this beautiful plaque which says, Emery County Relay For Life part of Relay 2011, Wylie Nelson, Survivor."
Nelson reported that he had been on Relay For Life since 1999 when Relay first started. "Over the years it has been a wild ride. I am glad I have done Relay For Life for that many years. I have served on the committee since 2006. The committee has been my family. I am so thankful for all of them."
Nelson was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 6. Leukemia is cancer of the body's blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. He has been with the Relay Committee involving students in the schools and by supporting those youths that have cancer.
Al Shakespaere read the list of survivors from Emery County.
Part of the evenings entertainment was The Scottish Band formed in the Utah Bicentennial Year in Payson. This band is one of the few in the country that wear the American red, white and blue tartan. They have won several awards in competition. They have traveled all over the Western United States. They have been playing for Relays For Life for 10 years. They started this band in Payson in 1996. Donald Smith is the band director and Jennie Smith is the band mother. They have two sons that also play in the band.
During the candle lighting ceremony the Scottish band marched around the track playing the bagpipes as survivors, friends and relatives lit the luminaries along the track edge.