Several years ago Sarah McCannon's world changed in an instant. She was 15 years old and her mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. While she was going going through surgeries and treatments, McCannon's mother connected with the American Cancer Society whose members helped her get through it.
"I was so thankful that they helped my mom," McCannon said. "I wanted to get involved and give back."
Through a program called "Look Good… Feel Better," her mother received a free wig, makeover, and a restored self-confidence that many women tend to lose during their treatments due to their changing appearance.
"When she came home, something clicked in my head," McCannon said. "All I wanted to do was get involved with the American Cancer Society and give back to them in any way that I could."
In the summer of 2008, one year after her mother was diagnosed, she and her family were invited to the Relay For Life in Yorktown.
"It was my first Relay, and when I arrived, I was completely blown away," she said. "I was amazed at the hundreds of people that came together to support the American Cancer Society. There were tons of people there – cancer survivors, caretakers, children and their families."
Everyone was there for the same reason – to celebrate the survivors, to remember those we have lost and fight back against the disease.
McCannon is now helping spread the word about the upcoming Somers' Relay for Life, scheduled for Friday, May 30. Over the last three years, volunteers have been able to raise a little over $300,000. This year's goal is set at $85,000 and volunteers are determined to reach it.
Volunteers are hoping that at least 40 teams of people get involved this year and everyone is welcomed.
"This is an event created for the community of Somers to come together, so we can’t do it without the help from the people who live in this town," McCannon said. "Whether a team of kids, neighbors, or families wants to do it, or even if a company or a business that is looking for a way to come together outside of work."
To get things started, a Kick-Off party will be held at Somerfields on Monday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. Residents can learn more about the event and how to get involved, as well as meet other people and sign their teams up.
"We want to get the people of Somers excited about this magical event that takes place in their town," McCannon said. "All are welcome! Spread the word to friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone else you know."
Somerfields is located at 325 New York 100 in Somers.
To create or join a team, or to donate to the event, visit www.relayforlife.org/SomersNY
Like” the Relay For Life of Somers Facebook by clicking here.
If you have any questions about the event, or how to sign up, donate, or become a sponsor, contact Sarah McCannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.