Relay dinner honors cancer survivors, caregivers

TUPELO – Her grandmother died of colon cancer. His grandfather died of lung cancer. Her mother is battling a rare form of liver cancer. His father died of rectal cancer.
“It can be a relative, a friend, your church family,” said Donna Kingsley, who with her husband, Robby, has participated in Relay for Life activities for about 15 years.
On Friday, the couple is organizing the second annual Relay for Life Cancer Survivor and Caregiver Dinner.
“There was one years ago,” Donna Kingsley said, but for some reason it didn’t take off. “Last year, my husband and I decided that we wanted to do more for the area survivors by organizing a cancer survivor-caregiver dinner.”
Sixty-eight people attended that dinner, which Kingsley called “a wonderful celebration of the accomplishments of our survivors.”
But the good time also is for the caregivers. “It’s extremely difficult to watch your family member go through this,” she said. “It’s also something to give everyone a little boost and say that we’re all in this together.”
This year’s event, to be at 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the Link Centre on West Main Street, will feature a speaker, entertainment and doorprizes.
“We’ll also name a king and queen,” Kingsley said. “They will lead off the opening lap of the Relay for Life. That is an awesome moment when all the area survivors make that first lap.”

Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or ginny.miller@djournal.com.

If you go
The Relay for Life Cancer Survivor and Caregiver Dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the ballroom of the Link Centre on West Main Street in Tupelo. Admission is free for cancer survivors or caregivers with one guest each. Guest speaker will be Marthe Thomas of Hematology & Oncology Associates at BridgePoint, and entertainment is Southern gospel group Heavens Highway. If you’d like to attend, please respond to Donna Kingsley at (662) 213-8478 by Thursday afternoon.
The Lee County Relay for Life celebration will get kicked off at 5 p.m. on June 12 at Saltillo City Park. For more information, call Kevin Russell at (662) 231-5011.

Ginny Miller/NEMS Daily Journal