Marysville community prepares to relay for cancer research

Cancer survivors (from left) David Trader, Kristin Banfield, JoDonna Withers and Dennis Ross stand in front of the “HOPE” sign at the Marysville Relay for Life kickoff on Jan. 19.

Cancer survivors (from left) David Trader, Kristin Banfield, JoDonna Withers and Dennis Ross stand in front of the “HOPE” sign at the Marysville Relay for Life kickoff on Jan. 19.

By Christopher Andersson, North County Outlook, http://www.northcountyoutlook.com

Community members are preparing for this summer’s Marysville/Tulalip Relay for Life to raise money for the American Cancer Society, beginning with a Jan. 19 kickoff.
The Relay for Life is a 24-hour event that requires team members to collect donations for months ahead of time, then take turns walking non-stop around a track or lot. The annual event is the ACS’ biggest fundraiser for cancer research and aid.

The Marysville/Tulalip Relay for Life will be on June 29, 2013 at Asbery Field. Registration and donation information can be found at relayforlife.org/marysvillewa.

Kristin Banfield, chair for this year’s Marysville relay and a cancer survivor, said that the camaraderie and support from previous relays has been “absolutely mind-blowing and an amazing experience.”

Banfield, who has been on breast cancer walks before, also likes the all-inclusive nature of the relays. She has lost loved ones to other types of cancer and this is a way to honor all survivors and loved ones.

Another reason to support the relay is that a large percentage of the dollars raised stay local, she said. Much of the money raised go to the local American Cancer Society office that provides resources, both large and small, to cancer patients and survivors.

Banfield said they help in even small ways like providing her pillows after she had her surgery. “And you think that’s the weirdest thing in the world but it’s the most comforting thing when the last thing you want to do is get in the car because the seatbelt is rubbing in the places you’ve had surgery,” she said, “I want the services that I used to be available for the next person, and hopefully with the research we’re doing, there won’t be a next person someday.”

The goal for this year is to raise $200,000. Last year the Marysville/Tulalip Relay for Life raised around $150,000. Banfield hopes for 80 teams to participate, and they already have more than 20 teams signed up.

The theme for this year is “dream big, relay bigger.” Banfield said she wants to make the relay bigger and better than it has been in the past and wants to “really see what this Marysville community can do.”

For more information go to relayforlife.org/marysvillewa.