Relay for Life to raise needed money for cancer research

Fundraising to benefit The American Cancer Society

JUPITER, Fla. - Cancer claims the life of nearly 8 million people worldwide each year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that's more than AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined.

That's why nearly a hundred people attended the Relay for Life at Jupiter High School Saturday to raise money to continue funding cancer research through The American Cancer Society.

Participants were grouped into 18 teams. For nearly 12 hours, someone from each team walked throughout the night and into the morning around a track to raise $30,000.

Cancer survivors know a diagnosis can come at any age.

Jupiter High School Sophomore, Amber Pearce, was only in first grade when she was diagnosed with Leukemia.

"I don't think I really knew what was wrong. I just think I knew I was sick," Pearce said.

Her teacher, Jessamyn Ramsey, is also a cancer survivor.

"I was 34, not expecting that at all. It was thyroid cancer," Ramsey said. "Luckily, I had the support of my students."

Ramsey and Pearce were joined by fellow teachers, students and other community members during the Relay for Life.

Organizers say Florida is now ranked the second highest state in the nation for cancer.

"I think it's really good to see people wanting to find a cure," Pearce said. Without the funding, Ramsey says research wouldn't progress. "My doctors wouldn't even know what to do for me," Ramsey said.

Ramsey and Pearce are both five years into remission. It's a milestone they celebrated as they walked together.

"There's definitely an underlying connection where it's kind of unspoken where we know we've been through a lot.," Ramsey said.

"It will come up every now and then so we can kind of relate to each other," Pearce said.

Relay for Life is also going on in three other locations this weekend in Boca Raton and in Hobe Sound.

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