The Hesperia Relay for Life is about a month-and-a-half away, and organizers are spreading the word.
On Saturday, Feb. 12, Hesperia Relay committee members were at the Mall of Victor Valley in Victorville to participate in a rally. Team leaders, survivors and supporters were on hand to share their stories and show their enthusiasm.
"We have no choice but to stand everyday on that track until we find a cure," said Renita Wickes of Barstow. "We are going to cross that finish line. Just by being here you're showing your support. I know you want to win just as much as I do."
After spirited words of hope, the attendees walked a lap inside the mall, clapping their hands and exhorting others to join their fight against cancer.
Hesperians on hand at the mall event included team leaders and participants Michelle Franquez, Carol Kramer, Cody McMillan, Merri Rice, Kristine McGowan, Hesperia Relay for Life chairwoman Tracy Moyer and area organizer Danielle Chrisinger Polliard.
Later, on Friday morning, Moyer and Chrisinger — along with former Apple Valley event chairman Richard Bounce — spoke to a gathering of Hesperia Chamber of Commerce members during the organization's weekly coffee networking event at Hesperia Christian School.
"I'm extremely passionate about what I do," Moyer said. "I got involved in the relay because of my brother-in-law Keith. On Feb. 6 we celebrated seven years of survival."
After his cancer diagnosis, Moyer wasn't sure what she could do help.
"I felt helpless," she said, emotionally. "All I could do is be there."
Soon, Moyer discovered she could help fight cancer by participating in the Relay for Life.
"At the Relay we celebrate survival by walking a lap of hope. Each team decorates their campsite with a specific theme."
After the presentation, several members of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce, which will field its own relay team, shared their cancer stories.
"My father died of brain cancer," said Dick Freeborg of FastSigns, who said he would donate the banners to the event.
"You think life is going to be over," said Jim Rosa of Rosa Signs who had Stage 3 brain cancer several years ago. "So far I'm cancer free."