MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The beautiful weather provided the perfect night for cancer survivors and their loved ones to walk at Relay for Life Friday in Norton Shores. The 24-hour event kicked off at 2pm at Mona Shores High School.
Relay Survivor Caregiver Chair Organizer Jenny Cross wanted to focus on children this year. She says often times, we think of cancer survivors as our parents and grandparents, and forget children fight and win the battle too.
The survivors' speech was given by a 13-year-old boy who battled cancer.
Cross says there are 150 new survivors at Friday's event, and they're young, ranging in age from their late 20s to 40 years old. Organizers are adamant about saying that from day one, anyone diagnosed with cancer is a survivor because they want you to believe you can beat this disease. Cross is 29; she and her twin boys lost her husband to cancer last year.
"They were four when he passed away, but to them it was, 'Let's make daddy a peanut butter sandwich to help him fight.' And I think them understanding that people look at them and realize, 'Wow, cancer does not only affect the cancer patient but everyone involved.'"
Relay for Life estimates Michigan will have more than 58,000 new cases of cancer this year, which ranks Michigan eighth in the country.
Relay for Life of Muskegon has already raised $130,000 toward its goal of $140,000. That's more than last year, and organizers expect to surpass it by Saturday.
Find your local Relay for Life event at Relay For Life's website.