Somervell County Relay For Life will kick off its 2012 event during half-time at the Glen Rose Tigers game against Kenndale this Friday evening.

Cancer survivors are invited and encouraged to attend as they will be recognized during the kickoff. Next year's Relay for Life event is scheduled to take place at Tiger Stadium May 18 to 19.

Stress footballs with the date of Relay will be thrown out to recipients.

Survivor Marilyn Phillips shared her view of why people should be involved in Relay for Life.

“As a cancer survivor, I am very proud of the research that continues to be done daily to find a cure for cancer,” she said. “Cancer has robbed us all of some friends, family members and memories. The more awareness and early detection with action can save lives.”

Relay for Life raises funds for research as well as advocates legislation for cancer research, Road to Recovery program, Reach to Recovery, college scholarships for students with history of cancer, as well as many other programs, Phillips pointed out.

She said she would never forget the day she heard the doctor say those dreaded words, “You have cancer.”

“I thought, 'No way, I am not THAT sick and cancer does not happen to me,” Phillips recalled. “I was 38-years-old and had two young daughters and a business to run and thought, "I do not have time for this."

She soon realized that cancer is no respecter of person, does not care who you are, how old you are and what your plans are. Phillips soon found herself preparing for surgery.

Afterward, doctors told her they were confident they had gotten all the cancer. But after a week, a doctor appeared in her hospital room and told her to go home, get rested and heal a little and then she would be seeing a radiologist and oncologist and will begin radiation and chemotherapy treamtents.

“I felt as though someone just poured ice water on me,” Phillips recalled. “I thought, WHAT??????????? If you got it all, WHY am I taking radiation and the dreaded chemotherapy? Of course, I soon learned, the fear of a bad cell or two escaping and attacking your body again …so here we go.”

After weeks of radiation and six months of chemotherapy, “and with God's grace and mercy and the most awesome family and community support, 19-plus years later, I am more than happy to RELAY!” Phillips said.

She said she was overwhelmed by the support she received from Glen Rose.

“I could not believe from the first day on, people were coming, calling, showing up with food daily and that went on for months,” Phillips said. “The amount of cards, calls, food, visits, prayers was absolutely amazing! And this is a story you hear so often. When there is a need for support, no one can do it like Glen Rose can! This community is absolutely incredible.”

So why do we Relay?

To celebrate those who have survived cancer

To remember and honor those that lost their battle with cancer

To fight for a cure…and we won't stop until a cure is found

"I believe the Relay for Life is awesome,” Blanca Cantu added. “It benefits the research teams to help find a cure for cancer. I am a big supporter in raising funds to find a cure for this disease. This program has helped save the lives of many people including my best friend Tammy Turner.

“I ask that if you are not a supporter of Relay for Life, please reconsider and make a donation because it will make a difference,” Cantu concluded.