Craig Relay For Life small but mighty | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Relay For Life small but mighty

— This year's Craig Relay For Life brought out cancer survivors young and old Friday evening to celebrate, remember lost loved ones, and rally for a cure.

The event, though small once again following several years of low participation, was not lacking in power or emotion for participants. Many wiped tears from their faces as survivors took the first lap around the track for the start of the six-hour event.

One mother, Yolanda Cruz, was there to support and celebrate her daughter, Heather Cruz, 21, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2013. She was found to be in remission last year.

"I'm just happy that she's fine," Yolanda Cruz said. "I thank God every day."

Four teams were officially signed up for this year's event, and about 20 people took to the track following the survivors' and caretakers' laps. The event has raised more than $1,700 so far, according to the Relay For Life of Craig website, though the final tally will be available later this weekend.

"We've had a bunch of people in the community step up and take it as their own," event organizer Sabrina Jackman said. "Seeing these leaders step up is really great. Hopefully we'll get some more people out next year."

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The event started with a bang in 2007, raising $67,000 to fund cancer-victim support programs and research, followed by another banner year in 2008, with nearly 500 participants raising about $107,000.

But those who did make it out to the Moffat County High School track to take a lap, or several dozen, were greeted with music and rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds of the afternoon.

One survivor, there with her husband and two young children, wasn't quite ready to celebrate — she was just diagnosed with breast cancer in late May — but the chance to talk with other survivors gave her some encouragement.

"It's been really nice talking to some other people and hearing their experiences," Rachel Holte said. "Some people have been survivors for much longer, and they can offer their advice. It just gives you a little bit of hope."

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.

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