MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Boys & Girls Club served as the site for an afternoon recreation of the evening "Luminaria" display at the Marysvile-Tulalip Relay For Life, during the kickoff for its 2013 season on Jan. 19.
Kristin Banfield, the event chair for the 2013 Marysville-Tulalip Relay For Life on behalf of the American Cancer Society, echoed this year's Relay theme by pledging that Relay teams and other supporters would "Dream Big and Relay Bigger" on June 29-30 at Asbery Field in Marysville.
"It's been seven months since we were last together to celebrate, remember and fight back," Banfield told the crowd in the Boys & Girls Club gym. "We wanted to remind everyone of why we Relay."
Banfield commended the cancer survivors and their caregivers in attendance, the former of which included David Trader, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma on Oct. 31, 2005.
"The only reason they found it was because I'd caught pneumonia and they had to do chest x-rays to make sure I didn't have any fluid left in my lungs," Trader said. "That was when they spotted my enlarged nodes, and from there, it was a steady course of treatment, treatment treatment."
Trader underwent six months of chemotherapy, 13 consecutive days of radiation, and nearly half a dozen different chemo drugs before he went into remission and was officially declared a survivor in December of 2010.
"That was the last time doctors checked me specifically for that," Trader said. "After I became a survivor, I tried to tell myself that I'd beaten cancer, but I realized that I didn't do a lot of supporting of other people who were going through that same fight."
When cancer continued to impact Trader's family by coming for his father, he reached the conclusion that "what we do doesn't just affect me, but all of us," and as such, he's since become a committed fundraiser for Relay.
"I remember sitting in those treatment chairs for four to six hours straight, and there are little kids who have to do that," Trader said. "I was 41 years old and a big strong tough guy, and it kicked my butt."
Trader's team in the Marysville-Tulalip Relay For Life is captained by his daughter and named for his father's nickname, "Lil Woolf," since he had a playful habit of barking at people.
"We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and want to put an end to this disease," said Banfield, who reported that the 2012 Relay drew 50 teams and raised $155,000. "Our goal for this year is 80 teams, and we're 25 percent of the way there already. We want 150 survivors at Relay, which would only take each team recruiting two survivors, and we're already 2 percent toward our fundraising goal of $200,000, with six months to go."
While Relay team captain meetings are scheduled for the second Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the convention center across the street from the Marysville Holiday Inn Express, the Medallion Hotel in Smokey Point will host Relay Team "Fruit Loop Troop's" 21-and-older adult prom on Feb. 2 from 8 p.m. to midnight, for $25 per single attendee or $40 per couple, with overnight rooms available for $89. Relay team "Rock 'n' Rollers" will stage their fundraiser at the Marysville Skate Inn on Feb. 24 from 1-4 p.m. at a cost of $5 per person.
To join the MarysvilleTulalip Relay For Life, call 425-404-2194 or log onto http://relayforlife.org/marysvillewa.