Michelle Wright said she often uses the phrase, “over my dead body.”
While it’s used with light humor, she said it also carries a bit of a darker meaning.
The Delaware County resident battled through Stage 3 breast cancer that spread to her lymph nodes until treatment, and a CAT scan in December, indicated she was cancer free.
There’s kind of a five-year window until you’re completely out of the woods, but for the first time, I’m here thinking, ‘Oh my God, I actually went through cancer.
Michelle Wright, cancer survivor
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“There’s kind of a five-year window until you’re completely out of the woods, but for the first time, I’m here thinking, ‘Oh my God, I actually went through cancer,’ ” Wright said.
She was among 23 cancer survivors Saturday at Relay for Life of Penn State, which has annually raised awareness and money for the American Cancer Society since 2005.
“I believe in doing events like this to bring monetary value and education to all, so we can continue progress made for a cure,” Wright said.
Event Recruitment and Involvement Chairwoman Sydney Palmer, a Penn State senior, said about 1,400 people registered to participate in the event by 2 p.m.
Relay for Life of Penn State has 2017 goal of raising $122,000
This year’s goal, Palmer added, is to raise about $122,000. The Relay event at Penn State last year raised about $114,00.
The event started Saturday afternoon with a series of speeches, including one from cancer survivor and Penn State junior Sam Szurkowski.
“My story with cancer started when my best friend died,” she said.
Szurkowski said she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in December of 2014, but was deemed cancer free in August.
“It’s kind of surreal, still,” she said. “I would participate in these (Relay for Life events) when I was younger, and now I’m doing it as a cancer survivor; so it’s kind of come full circle.”
Event hosted on HUB lawn for first time ever
Her speech was followed by victory lap by cancer survivors around the HUB-Robeson Center lawn, where the event was held for the first time.
Other activities includes makeovers and manicures for the survivors, field games, a walk-a-thon and the luminaria event in remembrance those who died of cancer.