Middle Village's Relay for Life marks 16 years
by Mark Garzon
Jul 01, 2018 | 7864 views | 0 0 comments | 258 258 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Middle Village Relay for Life 2018
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Despite inclement weather, dozens of survivors, families and friends gathered at Juniper Valley Park on Saturday for the American Cancer Society’s 16th annual Relay for Life in Middle Village.

The overnight event honored those whose lives have been affected by cancer. It featured music, food, entertainment and activities, while also raising money to support American Cancer Society’s programs.

Survivors and caregivers were celebrated at the event with their own lap around the park’s track, followed by numerous relay teams.

“It goes to show that no matter what, rain or shine, we have to be strong,” said Josephine Luizzi. “We will come out and support each other because we have to save ourselves.”

Luizzi, who is a breast cancer survivor, said it was amazing to see people involved and that it shows the community’s unity and strength.

“We are survivors, we’re caregivers, and we have to help each other rise above this damn disease,” she said.

At night, dozens of bags were illuminated around the track to honor those who passed away from cancer, survivors, and those still fighting the disease as part of the Luminaria Ceremony.

“It really brings it home,” said Sean O’Melia, who attended the event with his relay team.

O’Melia, who lost his aunt and a couple of close family friends this past year, said the event brings people together as they get to know one another and learn how to help others battling cancer, all while also keeping the memory of their loved ones alive.

“It’s nice to see everyone together because you see how much of a wide impact cancer really does have on everybody,” he said, “and how much it affects not just one person but the whole world.”

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