By Tia Lynn Lecorchick Managing Editor
Cancer survivors and their canine caretakers were invited to a BBQ celebration at Heritage Park last Saturday for the Third Annual Bark for Life. With about 75 people and 25 dogs in attendance, Bark for Life raised $1715. That amount will be split between the Humane Society of Morgan County (HSMC) and Relay for Life. “The monies raised will be used by Relay for research [and] community programs [to] fight against cancer,” said Beth Bradley, cancer survivor and organizer of Bark for Life. “HSMC will use the monies for care of the animals & medical bills. They are a no kill shelter.”
“I want to say thank you to the community for all the donations and those who attended on the event. We had a few cancellations, but everyone who came by had a great time celebrating a fun time with their dogs!” said Bradley. “I enjoyed seeing families and friends along with their dogs out at the park having a wonderful time and raising monies for two charities.” Bradley is looking forward to the next family-friendly community event in just a couple of weeks, the Festival of Life, presented by the Morgan County Relay for Life. The festival will be held at Town Park in Madison on April 11 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“There will be a lot of activities to do and lots of entertainment during the whole event,” said Bradley of the carnival-style event. All funds go into cancer research and community programs that assist cancer patients and survivors. Relay for Life gives funds to the Hope Lodge, which helps cancer patients who struggle to pay for their treatments and the Cancer Hotline, that connects patients and caregivers to medical professionals available to answer questions they have about cancer. The cancer help-line number is 1-800-227-2345. This year, the Morgan County Relay for Life opted to put on a town festival in addition to the traditional walking laps to raise money.
“This will be a very family-friendly festival with life music, food, face-painting, and games for all to enjoy,” said Bradley.
“We will still walk laps and honor cancer survivors later on in the evening. We will create a space for survivors and caregivers to be recognized, they will be given food, t-shirts and goodie bags.” Bradley is hoping the entire community will rally together to raise funds for this very important cause. “Almost everyone nowadays knows someone who is affected by cancer,’ said Bradley.
Bradley devotes much of her time to helping others through Relay for Life and public speaking. Bradley’s message is diligence in preventative care. “I am a walking miracle,” said Bradley.
“I ignored the signs my body was giving me and I ended up being diagnosed with stage four cancer. I don’t want anybody else to ever have to go through that.” “Believe me, you don’t want to go through what I went through. Take the time to get yourself checked regularly. Make the time because you are playing with danger if you don’t,’ added Bradley.