Cancer Survivor Remembers Fight Before Relay For Life

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DOWNTOWN JACKSON — West Tennesseans are preparing for Tennessee’s biggest Relay for Life event. For cancer survivors, each Relay for Life is another reason to celebrate. Elizabeth Johnson thinks every day about her fight with breast cancer. “The day I was diagnosed with cancer was probably the worst day of my life,” Johnson said. Now, even 12 years late, the emotions are raw. “I never gave up. I’m a fighter and I just kept on fighting and with the support of so many people who had been there, caregivers to other survivors, you know that carried me through,” she said. From the beginning, she told her doctor she would beat the disease, and she did; undergoing a mastectomy and chemotherapy. “When he told me, he said, ‘what do we want to do?’ I said ‘it doesn’t matter, I just don’t want to die, I want to do whatever it takes’,” she said. Johnson said the American Cancer Society was a big support when she was diagnosed, and still is, that is why she continues to take part in fundraisers like Relay for Life. Organizer Peggy Donaldson said the event is about more than just raising money for cancer research. “We love to provide them hope and a place to come and be with other survivors where they can feel that love and support,” Donaldson said. Johnson said Relay for Life is another way for her to celebrate overcoming breast cancer. “It’s kind of a remembrance of what you go through when you have cancer, you never stop, you just keep going around and around the track, just like when you have cancer you just keep going,” Johnson said. The Madison County Relay for Life will be at the Jackson Fairgrounds on Friday. Lunch will be at noon and the opening ceremony will begin at 6. Not only is the Madison County Relay for Life the biggest in the state, according to the American Cancer Society, it is among the top 50 in the world. Due to a threat for rain, all events have been moved indoors at the fairgrounds park.

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