American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life tour has settled in for the weekend at Bancroft Elementary School.
The event is to raise funds for cancer research and to gather food to donate to the Contra Costa/Solano Food Bank.
Teams are made up of several walkers and have to have someone on the track at all times during the 24 hours the event is going on.
“We have 180 people plus registered, but I think that it could definitely go up,” said Jessica Hess, event co-chair.
“We also with 23 teams participating. We have already have raised over $40,000 gross. We are expecting that probably to go up a little bit today. We some tricks up our sleeves to get those numbers up.” added Hess.
The event got started at 9 a.m. with a survivor lap. The cancer survivors walked one way around the track while their care-givers walked the other way. They met in the middle on the opposite side. There they gave each other hugs and the survivors receive medals for their bravery.
Several companies had quite a few participants. One company Valant of Walnut Creek, had three teams and was walking to honor one of their own, Nancy Engman, who died on Feb. 28. The participants called themselves Nancy’s Army. They wore purple shirts with the title sewn on the sleeves.
“This our third time walking. Members of the Valent USA family have had cancer, are dealing with cancer or have died of cancer. It’s just amazing how many.” said Linda Conlow, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with melanoma when she was 24.
“This year, our friend, Nancy Engman, has died. She battled for two years with melanoma that had reoccurred in her leg, her brain and her lungs. For two years it was a valiant battle of brain radiations, interferon alpha and regular chemo.” Added Conlow.
Nancy and Linda every year walked the survivor lap to honor Linda’s win over cancer. Nancy’s husband, David, and his mother, Gladys, both walked laps to honor Nancy.
The Relay for Life continues tonight with a Luminaria and ends on Sunday. For more information about visit Relay For Life.