Relay for Life 2016 | News | The Press and Standard

by | May 27, 2016 5:00 am

Last Updated: May 25, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Story and Photos by JEFFERY MUSGRAVE

“The Colors of Cancer Create a Rainbow for Cure” was this year’s theme for The Colleton County Relay for Life event held at Colleton County Middle School’s track Friday night.
There is a chart of at least 26 different colors for cancer and they were all represented at the event. The hope is that some day, one of the teams of doctors represented in those many colors of cancer will find that cure.
The minute you walked onto the field, it was hard to miss the line of over 700 luminaries that circled the track in memory of a loved one.  As you walked around and looked at the names, you began to recognize them and your heart jumped back to the time when you shook their hand or gave them a good old church hug and realized what they meant to you as you were going about your day.
Then the beautiful voice of a young girl on the performance stage caught my ear and I went to go see her sing.  Her name was Jayla Jackson.  She is only 9 years old and started singing two years ago at Mt. Olive Baptist Church.  After several songs, she was joined by another little girl — her best friend Shi’Nara Grant.
Jayla began to sing a song to her friend about her battle with leukemia, and no one listening, including me, could hold back the tears.  Shi’Nara was diagnosed with leukemia at age 6 and was in the hospital for over a year — but was never alone because of Jayla.
To hear Jayla sing, watch her hold Shi’Nara’s  hand and hug her, everyone could feel the love that child had for her friend. Love endures and cures. Jayla and Shi’Nara got a huge round of applause, hugs and pictures taken with new friends after the performance.
After I collected myself, I just happened to run into a little SuperHero donned with cape and Superman face paint named Lincoln Langdale.  At the age of 3, he was the youngest cancer survivor at the event. He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma, endured six months of chemo at MUSC and had to have his adrenal gland removed.
The fantastic news is that he is now cancer free.  Watching him run around with his brother, you could hardly tell all he had been through in his short life.  I often think of the book which could be written by just listening to all the stories told that night.
Of all the moments at a Relay For Life event, the one that is most moving is when everyone lights a candle and walks a lap for a loved one or friend. All the field lights are out and all the luminaries are lit. The only guide for the walkers through the nearly total darkness on the track are the lights from those candles.
That moment is a sign that even in our darkest moments of feelings, there is a glimmer of hope for the cure.
What a great event this was this year. All the Relay staff should be commended for their hard work and dedication to this cause which knows no color.

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