Why Do We Relay in Ferndale?

By, Crystal A. Proxmire


Relay for Life Ferndale will take place on June 12-13, 2010 at Ferndale High School.  This 24 hour walk raises money for the American Cancer Society.  As of May 26, 2010, there were 26 teams signed up with a total of 393 participants and over $25,000 in pledges given so far. The Ferndale High School Orchestra and Friends team is in the lead with $3,282.44, and the Ferndale Career Center is a close second, getting just over $3,000.  There is still plenty of time to sign up for a team, or donate to the teams that are currently registered.  Go to http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=21435 for more information.


On June 12th the Relay kicks off on the track of Ferndale High School at 881 Pinecrest.  This year’s Relay theme will be Countries of the World, and there will be many fun activities, as well as moments of solemn remembrance and of celebrating life.


We asked readers why they participate in Relay for Life. 

Here are some responses…



My Reason to Relay
I Relay because like many others I have lost lots of friends and family members to Cancer. A few include: my brother in-laws Russell and Bill, and also friends that I served as caregiver for until they lost their battle Linda and Kevin.  I Relay because like many others I have lots of friends and family members that are currently battling that terrible disease.  I Relay because like many others I still have lots of friends and family that are happy, healthy and Cancer Free and I want to keep them that way.  So.....
...I also Relay because I want to see an end to cancer during my lifetime. Relay gives me the unique opportunity to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission by fighting back against a disease that has already taken too much.

Jacki Koivu


I've been I've been blessed to have gone 29 years without someone close to me dying of cancer, but my mom passed away several years ago when she overdoesed on pain medication. It was a senseless death and the only way I had to make any sense out of it was to donate her organs. It was something we'd talked about.

During the routine scans that a hospital does to ensure that a patient is a candidate for organ transplant, they found a small, malignant growth in her lungs. My mom had lung cancer and she probably didn't even know it. She hadn't smoked in 23 years.

I'm in this for my mom, for all the lives she didn't get a chance to save, and selfishly, for myself. I'd like to go a while longer without losing someone I love.


Zack Ashley


I Relay to make a difference.  I want more people to walk in the Survivor’s Walk to be able to celebrate more birthdays.  I Relay for Lucy Fundukian, Gretchen Mahoney, Lois Shelton, Mary Irwin and my Grandmother Edith Greer.  I Relay because I can!


Sonya Ross


“The Doctor is in.”  One of the many phrases that my former co-worker used to say when I plopped down into the chair near her desk with a troubled expression on my face.


Charlotte Butler, a great co-worker and friend of mine passed away last October after battling bone cancer for many years.  I didn’t know her long, but when I said I was walking for her, everyone I worked with, including the company president, was quick to donate and offer words of support and encouragement.   She was obviously loved and respected.  Her husband told me that Charlotte would be pleased and proud that I’m doing something to raise awareness.  Charlotte is the reason I relay.


Jennifer Mazurek


I am relaying for a few reasons.  My first reason is that my grandpa past away with cancer.  So I Relay for him and in remembrance of him.  I also Relay to help fight back.  I mean you go and have a fun time for 24 hours and raise money for such a great cause.  Anyone and everyone can fight back and Relay is a fun way to do that.


Ryan Humphreys


One snowy February evening in 2009 we received a devastating phone call.  A young lady who spent a considerable amount of time in our house as a youngster had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  A young mother was about to face the greatest challenge of her life.  A year from hell that no one should have to go through.  Because she was only 26, a test for the cancer gene had to be performed before any treatment could be considered.  This test cost $3,000, an unfathomable amount for someone with no insurance.  The diagnosis, the financial responsibility, and the treatment nearly did her in.  It came to the point when chemo had to be stopped.  The chemo was hurting her more than helping.


It’s been a year now.  Treatment is over.  Maybe now she can pick up her life and go on.  I walk in honor of her struggles, fear and bravery.  Hopefully someday we will cure cancer.


Mary Ellen Mazurek