Through the Santa Clara Relay for Life at Buchser Middle School’s Townsend Field, more than $100,000 has been raised towards the 2018 goal of $110,000 to help fund the American Cancer Society’s research, support and advocacy programs.
Santa Clara University and the community of Santa Clara partnered this year, registering more than 30 teams. They walked around the school track for 24 hours, from 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28 until 10 a.m. Sunday, April 29, making the point that cancer never sleeps.
Opening the walk, Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor presented walk organizers with a city proclamation affirming Relay for Life for raising awareness of cancer issues as well as money.
“This day really symbolizes all of us taking a journey together….We draw strength from each other,” remarked Gillmor. “We want to save lives and create more birthdays.”
Cancer survivor George Ann McDonnell, rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Santa Clara, spoke before leading the ceremonial Victory Lap of survivors.
“I celebrate today not just because I survived, but also because I promised myself if I did live, I was going to live as fearlessly as I could. I celebrate because having cancer taught me to celebrate the small things in life,” said McDonnell.
Four-time cancer survivor and City Council Member Patricia Mahan walked in the Victory lap with her sister Jeannie.
“Research is the key,” said Mahan. “I will be on a medication now that was only approved for breast cancer in September last year….I’m reaping the benefit of all these people here supporting the American Cancer Society.”