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Cancer survivors encouraged to contact relay organizers - May. 13, 2014

Kathy Bockus
St. Stephen
Bright yellow shirts are a common sight at the annual Relay For Life and this year will be no different.
The shirts are proudly worn by cancer survivors and serve as beacons of hope, determination and triumph that cancer can be beaten.
ďOnce youíve been diagnosed, and are still with us, you are a cancer survivor,Ē said Shirley Johnston, co-chair of the committee which invites the survivors to participate in a supper before the Survivorís Lap, integral part of the relay event.
Johnston explained the survivor designation doesnít just apply to those who have finished their cancer treatments or those who have been cancer-free for years.
This year, relay organizers have changed the timing of the annual event. It begins at 12 noon June 7 on the track behind St. Stephen High School and continues to midnight, a change from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. 12 hour span of previous relays.
The timing of the survivors supper, hosted again this year by the St. Stephen Milltown Lionettes, and the survivorís lap, which in the past has kicked off the relay, will not change.
The supper will take place at 6 p.m. and the survivorís lap will begin at 7 p.m., with the yellow-garbed survivors taking to the SSHS track, led by a bagpiper.
A ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. to recognize the survivors and to also recognize again the eternal flame which will be lit at the noon-hour opening ceremonies.
Rising mail costs and changes of address prompted a change in how survivors will be contacted this year. Instead of letters, the survivors the committee knows about and who have participated in the past will be contacted via phone.
Johnston said the committee is finding, though, some people have changed phone numbers, or now have cell phones with carriers not listed in a phone book. The committee has about 450 names, the majority of which are in the Charlotte County region. A few are from other parts of New Brunswick and Canada and are travelling to be part of a team in the St. Stephen relay.
The committee is requesting that any survivor who has not been contacted by May 16 call Johnston at 466-2818 or Sheila Haley at 466-4728.
Those who have participated in the past and for some reason donít wish to participate in the relay again will be put on a separate list and not contacted in the future said Johnston.
Registration for the supper on June 7 will take place between 4:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., with supper beginning at 6 p.m.
Johnston said survivors may want to come to the school earlier in the day and enjoy the relay festivities before supper.

kathy@stcroixcourier.ca