WINCHESTER,Va - Hundreds of cancer survivors and their supporters filled the James Wood High School track for Winchester's annual Relay for Life event. This year's Relay for Life will last for over twelve hours, but twelve hours is nothing for most of these participants, some of which have battled cancer for years.
"Cancer doesn't sleep, so we don't sleep, so we go all night, we relay all night until six in the morning," Brooke Lockhart of Relay for life Winchester says.
Over 56 teams and 400 people registered for this year's walk. All having one common goal, to raise money to beat cancer.
"You see these people come together and theres people holding hands who they've never met before, patting themselves on the back. Its just amazing you realize we are all in it together," Lockhart says.
Breast cancer survivor Debbie Burke says the best thing about the event is seeing all of the people who can relate to what she went through.
"You see everyone from all walks of life, young old, its' just an experience you wont forget." Debbie Burke of Stephenson, says.
Prostate cancer survivor Joe Hulver has been cancer free for seven years and has been coming out to relay since before he was diagnosed. He says one of the most important things to do is address the cancer early.
"My father died with prostate cancer, and when I found out i had it, he was a little hard headed and would tell anybody that he was having problems until it was too late, the minute I found out i had it I went to the doctor and said lets do something." Joe Hulver of Winchester says.
This year's goal is 165 thousand dollars, by 7 p.m. the relay had raised over 136 thousand dollars. Pat Perry raised over eight thousand dollars for this event and this is her 19th relay. Perry says you have to remember that your body is yours.
"Look to yourself and know that you yourself have control over your body and i think you will survive."Pat Perry of Winchester says.
All of the funds raised support things such as free rides to cancer treatments, wigs and of course to research to find a cure for cancer.