The Jackson County Relay for Life Cancer Survivors’ Dinner is a special night for cancer survivors in Jackson County. This year’s dinner was held Tuesday night at Center Point Baptist Church.
The event featured a meal for survivors and their caretakers, as well as entertainment and door prizes.
“This is a night where we invite anyone who has battled cancer to come out and to bring a care giver who has gone through this battle with them so we can celebrate their success in this journey,” said Karen Borden, senior manager of Community Development for Relay for Life. “We want them to come here and relax because the battle with cancer takes a lot out of you. This night is to celebrate them and have them come here worry free and enjoy the evening.”
Borden said the event could not come together without the help of volunteers.
“That’s the awesome part,” she said. “We have so many volunteers. They went out and made sure we had the church reserved and made sure we had food reserved. They did all of the hard work. It’s everybody coming together for one big cause.”
The night, Borden said, is an opportunity for cancer survivors to come together as well.
“They come from the same place, different battles, but similar,” Borden said. “They appreciate this night together.”
Robin Taylor, a breast cancer survivor, said she has attended the dinner since 2008.
“We have a big crowd tonight,” she said.
Taylor said she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2007 after she found a knot in her breast and one under her arm.
“It had sharp edges so I knew it was cancer,” she said.
Taylor said she now shows no signs of cancer, but continues to take a chemo pill nightly. For her, Relay for Life is a very important cause and through her baking she has become Jackson County’s number one fund raiser.
“I started out in 2009 and I would sit with MMI’s tent at Relay,” she said. “I made a few loaves of banana bread and I sold out. The next year I made more and I sold out. The third year I sold a thousand loaves of banana bread.”
The most she has raised in a year is $7,000.
Now, she said, she focuses more on fudge, which she started one year around Valentine’s Day.
“I started coming up with different flavors,” she said. “It took off and people have really supported me.”
This year, Taylor has already raised $5,000.
Taylor said she enjoyed the survivor’s dinner and is looking forward to the survivor’s lap at Relay for Life on May 5.
“The dinner and walking the survivor lap will make you cry,” Taylor said. “I don’t think a year has gone by that I don’t cry walking the survivor lap.”