BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Relay for Life raised about $25,000 at their social distancing July 18 event.
Event Coordinator for the Upshur County Relay for Life Daisy Hunt said the event went well, but attendance was down.
“I think it went well, but we didn’t have as many cars as I would have liked; we had about 12 cars,” Hunt said. “We had a nice service, it was very short, but we were there and that was the important thing.”
“We got out there, and we did not cancel this year,” she added. “That was the thing that was most important to us, we didn’t let COVID-19 knock us out of our Relay.”
She said they have raised almost $25,000 from the event, which is down by about 40 or 30 percent from what they normally raise, but people can still donate.
“Some people think that once the Relay is over, that’s it for the year,” Hunt said. “Once it’s over, we start planning for next year, so we can take money and put it toward our event all year round. If anybody has anything they’d like to donate or anything that they’d like to contribute, such as time, anything like that, we’d be happy to have anybody there.”
Donations can always be made at the Upshur County Relay for Life website or direct donations may also be made with Relay for Life members. All donations go to the American Cancer Society for research and several programs that help cancer patients.
“There are programs that help provide rides to chemotherapy treatments, doctor’s appointments, and if you need a ride to get your medicine, or anything else patients need,” Hunt said. “They have wigs they provide for people when they’ve lost their hair, and there’s a Reach to Recovery program that has volunteers that have had the same kind of cancer that you have who come, sit and talk with you and answer your questions.”
Hunt said having Relay was important to the committee, even though it was modified for social distancing.
“The Relay for Life event itself represents the cancer patients’ fight against cancer,” Hunt said. “We start out ready to fight, everybody has their energy up, and everybody’s having a pretty good time and then, around midnight, or 2 a.m., you get really tired and you think, ‘well, let’s just go home and not do this anymore,’ but the cancer patient can’t do that; they can’t stop in the middle of the fight.”
She said cancer patients and those going through chemotherapy must be particularly cautious because of COVID-19.
“Their immune systems are low because of receiving chemo, and it’s very scary for them to have to go out for their treatments and for their medication, because if there’s something out there, chances are a lot greater that they’re going to get it than a person with a normal immune system,” Hunt said.
“The hospitals have been limiting what they’ve been doing and any elective surgery has been postponed because they just don’t want anybody who doesn’t have to be at the hospital there so they’re not exposed to the virus or anything else that might be contagious, so it’s difficult for them to get treatments,” she added.
Upshur County Relay for Life’s event may have wrapped up, but their goal is raising $50,000, and you can donate to a specific Relay team member or to the local event in general by clicking here.