Relay for Life – Inspiring Rhea County to give and love

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Another great year for Relay for Life in Rhea County as over $37,000.00 was raised to keep up the fight against cancer.(Photo:LeahO'Neill)

Event brings in over $ 37,000 to help fight cancer

September 22, 2017

Dayton, TN —  The Rhea County Relay for Life, held on Delaware avenue in Dayton, was a huge success. The Relay raised over $37,000 dollars to find a cure for cancer. Going to the Relay, participating in the activities, and having the great privilege to do the face-painting for this event was one of the highlights of my year. I was moved to tears when the survivors and the care givers were honored.  I cannot believe how strong these individuals are.

Cancer does not care how much money a person has or what their social status is.  Cancer is not racist or is it gender specific.  Cancer does not care about your age, and does not care your back ground. Cancer can attacks anyone.  As a mother, I worry about my children developing cancer or as a wife I worry about my husband. I have been blessed so far to have a healthy family, but so many cannot say that.

Angela Mathis did an amazing job organizing and arranging volunteers, vendors, music, and speakers for the Rhea County Relay. I know she has her own story as so many do, but she has taken that story and works hard to help others to have a survivor story.

The day started out hot and seemed very long, but unlike other events, no one was upset or complained.  Everyone knew that they were there for a larger purpose than themselves. Most of the vendors had set-up a donation for the American Cancer Society inside their booths. The feeling of family, love, caring, and support was wonderful!

Tennessee State Representative Ron Travis and County Executive George Thacker were there supporting our heroes. You know you live in an amazing town when out leaders come to events to help, show support, and will stand with everyone regardless of social standing to support those in need.  Some might say that is political in nature, but when you see these leaders and the expression and demeanor on their faces, you can see that this is personal and real.

I was humbled to be a part of one of the local teams.  I was told at the Relay I was on Walmart’s team, which was another fun way you know you live in a small town(wink and laugh).  I wish I could share the many stories, but I will challenge you instead to meet the survivors and care givers. You will find that we are not alone in having struggles, and you will see the light in their eyes as they talk about God, healing, and how amazing life is even in the mist of such pain and struggle.

I leave you with this one thought. Every morning (rain, snow, shinning, or gloomy) remember today is a new day.  Today we are smelling the daffodils.  My grandfather had a long struggle with cancer. While he was in the hospital during one of his  many surgeries, he called me into his room and told me: “Leah, you work too hard. You are young and all you do is work. Don’t waste the time you have by not smelling the daffodils (at this point I was looking at him like he was a bit goofy). The roots don’t smell as good as the flowers. Stop and smell the daffodils.  “He could have said roses or anything else to anyone else, but he choose me.  He has long since gone to be with the Lord, but every time I see a daffodil, I take  moment.  I stop and take a breath because when he looks down fro heaven I want him to know I stopped and smelled the daffodils.

God Bless,

Your Friend,
Leah<

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