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Painting the world purple

LaGRANGE – On Friday night, cancer survivors gathered with friends, family and loved ones to celebrate life and the will to keep going even through hard times at the annual Relay for Life event at the Chris Joseph Track at West Georgia Technical College.

The community event was a visual representation of the way LaGrange frequently gathers around its loved ones and takes care of those in need.

Luminaries lit the track as a symbol of those who fought the fight against cancer – and the legacy they left behind.

“I continue to carry her legacy on, and honor her life,” said Kevin Dunn, this year’s grand marshal of his wife Deborah Dunn who passed last year after a battle with cancer. “I was honored to be chosen as a grand marshal.”

Deborah Dunn was a teacher at Callaway High School and a Principal at Callaway Middle School. Her memory lives on in the lives of her students –  and in the soulful sound of her husband’s voice. Kevin sang a song in her memory and to help those fighting the same battle against cancer.

WellStar West Georgia’s cancer team showed their support for the cancer patients they have cared for with a check for $10,000. The money will help fund cancer research.

Kia Motors also donated a check for $35,000 to the cause.

The local Relay for Life event raised a total of $87,655.24 in donations as of press time Friday. That number included the checks from Kia and WellStar.

As the purple clad cancer survivors walked around the track, family members reminisced about their loved ones who did not make it to this year’s event.

“It feels like she is still here,” said Dunn. “Someone said to me, your loved one only dies when you let them die, and I feel that.”