Despite a continuing tight economy, Emmet County Relay for Life raised $84,500 as of Saturday in the fight against cancer.
Pastor Doug Burton opened the ceremonies, saying cancer had affected everyone present in some way.
Fran Pytleski, daughter-in-law to Marj Pytleski and sister-in-law to Kay Dahl, the honorary survivors, told their story. Fran said Marj and Kay thanked their doctors and nurses as well as the community, Relay for Life and the Ladies Night Out.
Emmet County Relay for Life honorary cancer survivors Marj Pytleski (red coat) and daughter Kay Dahl led the survivors’ walk with their family.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann
Fran noted figures Marj had researched showing there are now four times as many cancer survivors as there were in the 1970s. "The best prevention is early detection," Fran quoted Marj as saying.
Marj told Fran how Kay was always optimistic and that Marj kept a journal even when she didn't feel well. And Marj kept up with her activities as well.
And, as Fran related, Kay's cancer couldn't have been detected by a mammogram while Marj's couldn't have been detected without one, showing that both mammograms and self-exams were necessary. "The bottom line is early detection especially with family histories," Fran said.
"It can be very easy to look at the negative side of cancer," Burton said, noting though that Marj and Kay were good examples of survivorship.
After the survivor's walk, Burton offered one more comment.
"Every lap that you do make helps raise funds in the fight against cancer."
Due to inclement weather Saturday night, the luminaria ceremony was held at dusk Sunday night. The weather was beautiful, adding to a very moving ceremony with glowing luminaries circling Library Square, each one representing the undying spirit of someone who had passed on from cancer.