Saturday social offers community for cancer survivors, caregivers

Published 7:15 pm Thursday, September 26, 2019

For cancer survivors, their caregivers and family members, an event like Relay for Life can create a powerful sense of community. It’s a time to celebrate those who survive, remember those who have passed and connect with others who understand the trials of a cancer diagnosis.

While the annual Relay is still months away, local cancer survivors and caregivers can experience that same sense of community this weekend. The organizers of Relay for Life invite local survivors and caregivers to join in a survivors social on Saturday at First Christian Church.

“For those who have been newly diagnosed, it gives them a sense of support from people who have been through that journey who are survivors,” explained Relay organizer Carol West. “They can give them inspiration, answer questions and give them a sense of hope.”

In this event, much like the Relay, West says the survivors and their caregivers are the focus of the day. The social this weekend is one of a number of similar community events the Relay committee organizes throughout the year.

“It’s always great to be able to come together and share stories with that purpose in mind of creating hope and leaning on each other,” West said. “We want to make our cancer survivors and caregivers feel special. They’re our heroes.”

As far as the 2020 Relay for Life, West says organizers are still in the planning stages, with no date set as of yet. In recent years, the Relay has undergone a number of changes, including adding new activities and making the event an all-day affair on Saturday.

“We’re trying to see what works with people’s lives these days,” West said. “Everybody’s so busy, and we want to bring the community together. We’re trying to keep the emphasis that cancer affects everybody in some form or fashion. … If we can do our part in bringing the community together in this fight against it to bring cures and better treatments, that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

The festivities this weekend include food and games, as well as a short skit entitled “Yee Haw,” a take on the old classic “Hee Haw” television comedy series. The survivors social will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at First Church of Christ. To RSVP, call Carol West at 252-944-3814, Sonya Fortescue at 252-945-1501 or Lisa Williams at 252-945-1717. Those with suggestions for the coming year’s Relay, or who wish to serve on the Relay planning team, can also call these numbers.

For more information on Relay for Life, visit