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Relay for Life — honoring survivors

Pagosa’s 13th annual Relay for Life, June 22-23, 6 p.m. – 8:30 a.m., honors the hundreds of cancer survivors living in Archuleta County.

Some are recently diagnosed, others are in the midst of treatment, which often means daily or weekly trips to Durango or Farmington or further. Some, like myself, are nearly “a year out.” And, thankfully, we have dozens who are five, 10, 15-plus years beyond this frightening disease.

Thanks to the American Cancer Society — the closest office to Pagosa is in Durango — we have access to information we need for treatment, current information on the disease studies, diet and exercise recommendations, availability for financial help for treatment, transportation, accommodations when treatment is too far to get back and forth to home and, very important, emotional support, reminders that we are not alone.

That emotional support was enhanced this year when ACS helped recent survivors restart a cancer support group in Pagosa. Some of us drive to Durango to participate in monthly programs which include cancer-related lectures on a quarterly basis, but to have something in our home town, with others who live in Pagosa, what a gift!

Survivors in Pagosa and Archuleta County – some prefer to be called “thrivers” or “advocates” — are invited to sign up for the opening ceremony which will include a welcome by a survivor, a special lap around the high school track for survivors, caretakers and family members, followed by a dinner.

Later in the evening, there will be live entertainment for “lappers” and others, and at 10 p.m. a Luminaria Ceremony honoring those who did not survive.

To register for the Survivor events, go to ArchuletaRelay.org, or call Kim at 731-2499, Carol at 731-9459 or the ACS office in Durango 247-0278, Opt 3.

If you’d like to donate to the Relay or purchase a luminario to honor someone close to you — all gifts will help continue the support of cancer patients and survivors in our community — send your checks, made out to ACS to the attention of Susan Williams, 1800 E. Third Street, Durango, CO 81303. Indicate that your donation is for the Pagosa Relay for Life.

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