Relay for Life of Troup County raises money for cancer research

Published 5:14 pm Monday, April 29, 2019

Cancer survivors joined together to raise money for cancer research at Relay for Life on Friday night at the Chris Joseph Track.

The annual walk drew teams from throughout the community for games, food and community, as participants walked around the track — and later in the night lit luminaries.

This year’s grand marshal was Tina Teal, a local cancer survivor.

“Yesterday, I found out that I am 4 ½ years cancer free, so this is appropriate for me,” Teal said.

This year, 48 teams and about 200 survivors participated in Relay for Life of Troup County. About 300 luminaries were purchased for the event. For many participants, the event was a chance to share their stories and spend time with people who understand the struggles that come with a cancer diagnosis.

“I give God all the glory,” said Susan Benitez, a cancer survivor. “I had some wonderful people praying for me at my church [and] a lot of different churches. I give God all the honor and glory for it. He brought me to it, and he brought me through it.”

Benitez had a type of throat cancer linked to the HPV virus, and she encouraged parents to protect their children from HPV through vaccination.

Relay for Life of Troup County began the night with $48,000, and moved close to reaching the event’s $100,000 goal with a $44,000 donation from Kia Motors Manufacturing of Georgia. Donations were still being accepted on Monday, and event organizer Lynn Howard was hopeful that Troup County would be able to meet its fundraising goal to support cancer research.

“Our goal is $100,000, and I don’t know if we’ll meet it,” Howard said on Friday. “We have until August to raise all of the funds… but maybe we’ll make it tonight. We’ll see.”

To learn more about Relay for Life of Troup County or to donate, visit