by Lisa Tome
Katie DeWeese has earned two cancer survivor shirts.
But she only needed one to walk around the track at Elkton High School over the weekend.
DeWeese battled both ovarian and breast cancer and has been an official survivor for 19 years and 24 years. She walked the lap for survivors.
DeWeese is part of the Relay for Life team Bethany's Angels. "I feel lucky to be here," said DeWeese, who has been involved with Relay for Life since 1999.
That team is overseen by Anne Gibson and Joanne Bierly. Most of the team members, like DeWeese, have been deeply impacted by cancer. Bierly lost her daughter, Bethany, to the disease. "I joined because my daughter died. But relay is about the survivors. We are showing them support and that they are not alone," said Bierly.
The 21st annual Cecil County Relay for Life was underway.
Relay for Life is the largest fundraising endeavor for the American Cancer Society. The local relay features a survivor's lap, luminary ceremony, activities, and much more.
Before her death from cancer, Debbie Midash taught her granddaughter, Delany to braid hair.
On Saturday, Delany was braiding hair for donations in memory of her grandmother.
Delany was one of the members of the Bo Manor High School National Honor Society who participated on Saturday.
"My grandmother died five years ago. She was the coolest person ever. She taught me how to braid," said Midash, who was collecting $5 per braid.
Catherine Sciamanna was one of the team members for Bo Manor High. "I want to support them and raise money. I lost my aunt to breast cancer," said Sciamanna.
For a half dozen years, Dana Thomas has been captain of the Relay team for Terumo Medical. This year, Terumo's team was raffling off baseball tickets and a gift card tree containing more than $1,000 in gift cards. "I feel like everybody's affected by cancer. And this is what we can do to help. My grandmother had breast cancer," said Thomas. "We (Terumo) fundraise throughout the year and the company matches $7,500. We're at about $20,000 and we'll go over that. I enjoy it. This event really brings us all together and we get to know each other."
Ray Stachecki and Carol Berth are both part of Team Craftin' a Cure. They stuck with the relay theme Road Trip to Hope for their fundraiser.
Stachecki set up a race course and those who donated a dollar, got to race and keep the toy car.
Over the weekend, with more donations still coming in, the Cecil County Relay for Life event raised more than $75,000 for the American Cancer Society.