The Multi-County Cancer Support Network’s Walk-A-Thon continued Friday evening with a tradition that’s been ongoing for 26 years — unifying cancer survivors and their families to win against the disease.
Hundreds attended to march around the track at the old Franklin County High School football stadium as a show of support for those who have survived and to remember those who have succumbed to cancer.
Participants extended their thanks to the Support Network for the difference it has made in cancer victims’ lives through personal and financial support that has helped them move on to the next chapters in their lives.
Harold Smith of Winchester, a colon cancer survivor, said he was at Friday night’s event because of what the Support Network has done for cancer survivors in general.
“They help in any way they can, and that really means a lot,” he said.
Flo White from Winchester attended the event as a breast-cancer survivor.
“We came here to support everybody, and we’re proud to be here,” she said.
White echoed Smith’s sentiments about the Cancer Support Network’s greatly appreciated aid to cancer survivors and the difference the organization has made in many lives.
Franklin County Mayor Alexander wasn’t attending the event as a political official. He was there because he is a prostate cancer survivor and said he greatly appreciates what the Support Network has done for cancer victims and their families — namely the unique gesture with financial support which is so greatly needed during such difficult times.
“I don’t know of any other organization that does that,” he said.
Alexander said Jean and Vern Katt were instrumental in making the event, now in its 26th year, a success that has benefitted so many who were affected by cancer.
Alexander said the Katts’ tradition has continued to the present day, and the Support Network continues on in their legacy.
“They help where it’s desperately needed,” he said, referring to the network’s financial aid. “This is such a worthwhile organization.”
Alexander then referred to the large crowd in a unified appearance as a show of support in the fight against cancer.
“It’s so wonderful to see so many here,” he said.
Norma Sells of Winchester and her brother, Ray Holliday of Estill Springs, are both cancer survivors, and the Walk-A-Thon carries special meaning.
“I think this is wonderful,” Sells said. “Everybody needs to come to this. It’s just such a wonderful thing to do. I’ve been coming here since it started.”
Holliday echoed his sister’s sentiments about the event in simple terms.
“Everything. It means everything,” he said.