LOGAN - In 2011, Kay Browning went in to have a simple surgery on her thumb.
Before the surgery, she told doctors she had been battling a cold over the weekend. A lung X-ray revealed something more sinister: She had lung cancer.
The diagnosis made the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event, which she had participated in prior, even more important for her. The event is held every year at the Logan High School football field as a fundraiser for cancer research efforts by the ACS.
This year, Relay for Life will be from 6 to 11 p.m. June 7 at the Logan High School football field. For questions or to form a team, call Holley Durham at 304-347-5850 or log onto the website at www.relayforlife.org/loganwv.
During the event, the public is invited to walk around the track and several special sections are held. The beginning of the event is the survivor walk, and then the survivor lap, which Browning called "touching," is held. The second lap is for caregivers of cancer patients, and then everybody in attendance is encouraged to continuously walk until the event is over.
The event itself is staffed by numerous teams of volunteers. Entertainment like inflatables, music, a frozen T-shirt contest, face-painting, scavenger hunts, food and more is provided.
Crystal Bryant, event leader for Relay for Life, said she is seeking to reach out to younger individuals to get involved with the fundraiser. High school students needing community service hours are invited to help with the event.
When asked why people should come to Relay for Life, Browning responded, "Just because of what it means."
"When you come to it, you're going to see cancer survivors," she said. "Sit down and listen to their story. You're going to see people that are there because they lost a family member and they're there because of them. We also sell luminary bags and we light them up and we spell out 'hope' on the bleachers, because we always want hope. We have those lit up in honor or in memory of someone."
The theme of this year's Relay for Life is games, in which each team will choose a game, like Monopoly, symbolizing the battle against cancer.
Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196 or follow him on Twitter @DVidovichLB.