A special celebration took place in Elkins Saturday - one where cancer survivors, their caregivers, family members and friends gathered to give thanks for another year of life, cancer-free.
The Randolph County Relay For Life sponsors the survivors breakfast each year where folks can celebrate and network with others.
This is the first time survivor Vickie Isner attended the breakfast.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Randolph County cancer survivors gather Saturday morning to celebrate life with their friends, families and caregivers. Attendees share their stories of success with each other and enjoy breakfast, donated by Western Steer Steakhouse in Elkins. Randolph County Relay for Life Chairperson Judy Ritchie, above, welcomes more than 100 people attending the event.
"I usually am working, but am glad to be here today," Isner said, adding she has been cancer-free for five years.
"It is good to know there are other survivors like me," she said with tears in her eyes. "Having prayers and friends really helps. You have to keep that positive attitude and prayer when facing cancer, otherwise you will just sit around and feel sorry for yourself."
Vickie said she is hopeful for those facing cancer.
"Every year, they get better and better with treatment options," she said. "And they learn more and more."
Cindee Campbell, a survivor breakfast coordinator, said this is the largest event ever.
"We had more than 100 people gather at the event," Campbell said. "We are very excited so many people decided to come celebrate with us."
Judy Ritchie, Randolph County Relay For Life chairperson, welcomed those in attendance. Door prizes were distributed. Survivors and their guests were invited to attend the Gandy Dancer show Saturday for a reduced price.
"Anyone attending the Gandy Dancer Show May 25 should mention the word 'survivor,'" Ritchie said. "A donation of $10 will go to Randolph County Relay For Life for those participating."
Cancer survivors will have more opportunity to bond during the Randolph County Relay For Life, slated for noon June 8 at the Elkins Town Square.
"There is a survivor tent, and they will be treated to lunch," Ritchie said. "Following lunch, the first lap of the relay will be for survivors. It is always a touching and emotional time."
So far, Randolph County Relay For Life has 23 teams registered, representing 244 individuals. To date, the teams have raised $24,194.13. The 2013 goal for Randolph County is $78,000.
Additional information about the Randolph County Relay for Life is available on Facebook at Relay for Life of Randolph County WV 2013.