Relay for Life represents hope

Participants come from all over to take part in the American Cancer Society's 24-hour walk in Huntington Central Park.

May 09, 2012|By Mona Shadia
  • Supporters of Proposition 29, the tobacco tax initiative, hold signs of support during a rally that was part of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life at the Huntington Central Park.
Supporters of Proposition 29, the tobacco tax initiative,… (STEVEN GEORGES,…)

Some came to Huntington Central Park from other parts of Orange County. Some drove for hours from places like Bakersfield. Some even came from out of state.

But they all came with a common goal in mind: beating cancer.

The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Huntington Beach lasted from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Sunday.

By noon Saturday, teams of participants sporting matching shirts filled the park, walking to raise funds for loved ones who either beat or are fighting cancer, or those who lost their lives to the disease.

There were also activities like dancing and singing, and a handful of tents were set up for those who planned on spending the night.

Kerrie Cabral, 34, joined her family and friends from Seattle. The family members, all wearing T-shirts that read "Anna's Angels," had planned on staying the night.

Cabral said this was her and her family's way of supporting her aunt, who lost her battle with cancer, and supporting all those who are fighting or have fought the disease.


"This is our dedication to them," she said. "Being tired, hot ... is a small price to pay for those who are battling cancer."

Catherine Purcell, 75, and her husband, John, 75, drove Saturday morning from their home in Bakersfield to attend the walk and support their daughter's team.

Catherine Purcell was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year ago; she went through treatment and is now cancer free.

She said the walk represents hope.

"It gives you hope for the future and hope for a cure," Catherine Purcell said.

Supporting the Relay for Life is supporting the fight for life, John Purcell said.

At the event, there was a large cake made of cardboard to represent the celebration of more birthdays. Paper-shaped candles filled the cake with messages from loved ones, survivors and those who are continuing the fight.

One covered in hearts read: "RIP grandma. You are an amazing person. I miss and love you!"

Another read: "Papa, we love you and miss you everyday."

Twitter: @MonaShadia

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