Friday, July 15, 2011
"It's going to be a big change and it'll probably be real emotional for me," said Jerry Siever, one of the volunteer committee chairmen for the 2011 Relay for Life.
Jerry has been participating in the Relay for Life as a volunteer for the last two years, but this year, he will be walking as a new cancer survivor.
"I didn't really get scared until after I had all the stitches out. For the first time, I got to see the surgical site and that's when it really sunk in," said Jerry.
Less than a month ago, doctors removed skin cancer from his ear. Now, he carries a small bandage that reminds him of why this event is so important.
"It makes you strive more, to do more, to raise more awareness, to raise more money for research, and to provide services to people who have cancer," said Jerry.
The Relay starts at dusk, representing the time a person is diagnosed with cancer. It ends with the rising of the sun, as a reminder that life will go on.
"There's such a wonderful feeling of unity when everybody gets out here. We're all fighting for the same cause. It's just a wonderful feeling," said Dana Kemp, American Cancer Society, regional communications director.
Teams take turns walking the track throughout the night. Tonight, Jerry will participate in the survivor walk for the very first time.
"He has since been diagnosed with cancer, so this has even more significance to him tonight," said Kemp.
Jerry said he looks forward to celebrating life and walking side-by-side with other cancer survivors.
"Mine's minute compared to what some people have. It's going to be a real honor to walk with them," said Jerry.
The event is held on Friday at Wichita State University's Cessna Stadium, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Registration is $10 per person.
Derby and Maize will have their own Relay for Life events on Aug. 5 at 7 p.m.