On Centre | Around Philipsburg: Relay for Life a celebration, and reminder, of cancer struggle


Along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it's one of those things that every American is supposed to get.

For too many in the Moshannon Valley, it is one of those things that is less a right than a struggle.

All along that place where Centre County meets Clearfield County, cancer is an ever present statistic we try to pretend is not there at every picnic, every reunion, every birthday party, obvious in the people who are absent and shouldn't be.

Infants, toddlers, elementary school kids, boys who love to play baseball and beautiful girls who dream of being amazing artists. Moms, teachers, grandpas, doctors. We have lost them all.

But we have seen miracles, too. If you want to see them for yourself, come to the Moshannon Valley Relay for Life from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday at Geisinger Medical Center.

The American Cancer Society signature fundraiser has those miracles at every turn.

There are families who raise money to remember the father they lost. There are whole churches whose members band together to fight the disease. There are kids who walk the penny lap, learning empathy and philanthropy at the same time.

There are the survivors. If I know too many people who have been lost to cancer, I continue to be astounded by the ones I know who have spit in its eye and carried on.

What it all comes back to is life. The relay is about raising money to fight the good fight, but at the same time, it is a celebration of life and a rebellion against death and disease. It is targets who refuse to give up and loved ones who refuse to let go.

Join the fun and take a stand.