Teens leading Mukilteo’s battle against cancer
Here in Mukilteo, guess who's leading the charge in the fight against cancer? Hint: If you're picturing any gray hair or business suits, guess again.
The first-ever Relay For Life of Mukilteo, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, will take place July 13-14, at the Kamiak High School track.
The 21-hour event starts at noon on Saturday and ends at 9 a.m. Sunday. At least one member from each of about 30 teams must be walking the track at all times. The goal is to raise $60,000.
Many team captains are Mukilteo teens who have done Relays before, and they have recruited their friends to help.
Their team names show their passion and their fighting spirits: Mukilteo Musketeers, Love Over Loss, Breast Friends Forever. They are raising a lot of money to help end this dreaded disease.
Helen Anderson, 16, is a Kamiak junior and a veteran Relayer. As a co-captain of Love Over Loss, she has already personally raised more than $1,350.
"My teammates inspire me," she said. "One of them has battled cancer and won. We all know someone who has cancer now, or who has fought it."
Anderson added that her favorite part of Relay is "that time from 2 to 4 in the morning, hours after the luminaria ceremony, when everyone is very tired, and all the emotional walls come down, and everyone is just very real."
Marcie Zainwel, also 16 and a Kamiak junior, is the captain of Team N.E.R.D.S. (Never-Ending Relay of Dedicated Students) and she has personally raised more than $1,400.
"My mom is a cancer survivor who battled cancer 20 years ago and again 10 years ago," Zainwel said.
Her mom will attend the Relay's opening ceremonies, and walk in the survivors' first-lap, a tradition at all Relay For Life events.
Emma Turgeon, 18, is a recent Kamiak grad. After participating in many Relays with her family, she convinced her mom, Joanna, to help her bring Relay For Life to Mukilteo. The two are co-chairing the event.
"Cancer causes a lot of fear, and it can make people feel powerless,” Emma Turgeon said. “Relay For Life lets us all take back the power and be bigger than cancer.”
The community – and especially cancer survivors – is invited to attend the opening ceremonies at noon on Saturday, July 13, and the luminaria ceremony at 10 p.m. that night.
Luminaria bags and candles are dedicated to those who have battled or are currently battling cancer.
To learn more or to join a Relay team, contact Emma or Joanna Turgeon at 206-947-4717 or TurgeonRelay@comcast.net. Learn more or make a donation at www.relayforlife.org/mukilteowa. Funds go toward local and national American Cancer Society programs.