"Relationships really underscore everything we do in the fight against cancer and our work with Relay For Life and with the American Cancer Society". During the survivor lap, cancer survivors and people now affected by the disease walk the track to be cheered and supported by friends, family and caregivers.
Amber Fortner-Lubin, a staff member helping to organize the event, said this is what the Relay for Life was all about. It's also an opportunity to remember and honor those who lost their battle.
According to Dana Allen, public relations chairman for this year's event, most people know someone who has been touched by cancer.
Molly Jackson and Vicki Snyder lead off the survivors lap, followed by a caregiver lap.
"Just getting the initial blow of it fighting it, thinking I don't know if I can do another chemo treatment, and then to come here today and have all of the survivors, its just a very emotional, how much people do care, and how cancer effects everybody", said Cooper.
Sarah is a mother and a grandmother.
"As a survivor, I relay to raise awareness, and I relay for research", Anderson said, "We all have a different reason to relay. Then, we went into the morning". Within the last three weeks two more relatives received cancer diagnoses: another sister-in-law and one of her sisters who has already survived breast cancer. "I come back to honor them and fight for the survivors", she said.
As she did this, Braga said she began to realize that what she was going through was also about perspective and she realized that she couldn't worry or have fears about what was happening. "It's just an awesome sight to experience, to know that the team at Greater Niagara is Relaying with you". "I truly believe in this message, being a survivor [myself]".
What helped her through was the support of friends and family and the "beauty of having people around", she said.
Roberts Lodge That Gives provides a home away from home free of charge for Nova Scotians undergoing cancer treatment and other services that help local patients and their families during a hard time.
People, like Stan, who have Sarah's back and say she's a fighter that won't give up.
"Her strong will. Her fight for staying alive to see her kids and grand-kids and stuff", said Stan.
This year's Relay, which runs from 4 p.m.to midnight, has set a goal of $150,000.