LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A lot of people take birthdays for granted or even dread them, but the hundreds of people circled around a certain Lubbock track Friday are thankful to see the next one.
Since it began in the early 1990's, the Lubbock County Relay for Life has raised almost $1 million and this year they hope to add $130,000 to the fight for a cure. It was one big birthday party at the Coronado High School track which is the theme for this year's race, 'A World Full of More Birthdays'.
Organizers expect almost 2,000 people who all have stories about how cancer, in some way, has impacted their lives. "It was something I was never ready for," says Bonnie Martin.
Friday was Martin's first time around the track as a survivor. "I was ready to cry a little while ago. It makes me feel so good to be cared about," she said.
Martin was diagnosed with a brain tumor back in September and surgery six weeks ago, but her fight continues. "I'm not on my second cancer – a different body location, but we'll do more radiation," she said.
The relay is about Martin and the 300 local survivors who walked for hope, but also to honor the people who cared for them and those who lost the fight. "We have never experienced this before and it means a lot today. It's my mom. It's been a rough year," said Martin's daughter Beth Williams.
"There are walking miracles out on the track. People who have a lot of hope because of events like this," says Todd Chambers, a 5 year cancer survivor who helped organize this year's relay. "I do not do medical research, but the money we raise goes to researchers and doctors to find a cure," he added.
"All these strangers, we are connected and it means so much for the future," said Williams.
It's an early birthday for Martin who turns 61 years young next week on May 13th, the same day she goes back to the doctor for more tests.
The walk wraps up at 7 a.m. Saturday.
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