Hundreds of participant walked the Wheatridge Middle School track July 13-14 in a community effort to raise money for cancer research.
The amount of money raised by the end of the 12-hour marathon surpassed $68,000.
The Santa Fe Trails Relay for Life raises funds each year to benefit the American Cancer Society’s research for a cure.
Chrissy Miller, 2012 Hero of Hope, served as keynote speaker.
Miller, of Clinton, Mo, said she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in November, 2006.
At the time, she was 28, married and the mother of two boys.
She initially had thoughts of “why me?” but eventually saw the cancer as a beatable challenge.
“Never did I think I was going to die from it,” Miller said.
She encouraged the gathering to continue to support cancer research.
“Our fight is not over,” she said. “By you being here tonight you are showing that you have the fight in you also.”
Abbie Lane started the Relay by performing “The Star Spangled Banner.”
The event opened with a Survivors Walk with current and past cancer patients walking the first lap of the track.
Candle-lit luminaries lined the circumference of the track, each placed in memory of a loved one lost to cancer.
The Santa Fe Trails Relay for Life event includes participants from Gardner, Edgerton, Wellsville and Spring Hill. The national initiative held annually in hundreds of communities across the United States, and raises millions of dollars each year.
Teams of eight to 15 walkers and runners join with cancer survivors and honored guests for the Relay.
Participants take turns walking the track so that one person is on the track at all times.
Each team pitches a tent and decorates their campsite in a unique theme.
Funds raised locally are used to help local cancer patients.
In an average month in Johnson County, 124 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed and 53 people will die from the disease.
For more information on the American Cancer Society Relay for Life visit www.cancer.org or call 1-800-ACS-2345.