Relay for Life is this weekend at WHS

24-Hour event is a fund raiser for the American Cancer Society

The East Clark County Relay for Life will kick off Saturday, at 10 a.m., at Fishback Stadium in Washougal and run through Sunday at 10 a.m. There are currently 517 relay participants registered. Last year’s event (pictured above), raised more than $113,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Relay for Life of East Clark County

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to Sunday, 10 a.m.

Where: Fishback Stadium, at Washougal High School, 1201 39th St.

Of note: A luminaria ceremony will be held Saturday, at 10 p.m.

Contact: Visit www.relay.acseven...

Claudia Muri describes the Relay for Life as a family event.

Muri, a volunteer with the Camas-Washougal Soccer Club, plans to participate in the annual fund raiser for the American Cancer Society this weekend.

She is inspired by her sister Patricia Adkins, of California.

“A few years ago, my sister was diagnosed with a rare tumor,” Muri said. “A chordoma tumor was found wrapped around one of her main arteries in her neck.

“One always thinks that cancer is not going to touch you or anyone you know,” she added. “It was a big shock to our family, but we stayed focused to what we could do and stayed positive.”

Adkins is doing well after two major surgeries and intensive radiation therapy.

Muri participates in the Relay for Life, to raise money for cancer research.

“We were very lucky that when she went into the hospital, the ER doctor who treated her happened to be a neurologist from USC who just happened to be one of the few people who knew about this type of tumor,” she said. “He had been following some case studies.”

This will be the second Relay for Life for the Muri family, of Camas.

“I actually feel like I’m making a difference,” she said. “I also love that I’m teaching my children that there is always a way you can help. There is always something you can do. If you don’t have the cure, you can help someone who is in a position to find the cure.”

Muri also enjoys the energy and friendliness of the other Relay participants.

“We are always encouraging families from the club to participate in whatever way they can –– whether that is with a donation or as a walker,” Muri said. “We love seeing the families from our community come together for such a great cause.”

There are 517 relay participants registered, as of press deadlines. So far, they have raised $58,321.

Last year, individuals and teams raised more than $113,000 for the American Cancer Society. That involved approximately 1,200 attendees – including 200 cancer survivors.

The theme of this year’s relay is “Once upon a cure.” Event Chair Joan Hayden is assisted by co-chair Teresa Smith and other relay leaders.

Margie Shoemaker, of Washougal, has been part of Relay for Life for approximately eight years.

“I have had many family members pass away due to cancer, and that’s what really keeps me going,” she said. “It’s a horrible end to life. If there is anything we can do to prevent others from having to experience that pain or witness a loved one having to suffer that pain, then we will walk till we can walk no more.”

Shoemaker is also inspired by the stories of cancer survivors and the determination and love of the caregivers.

“That’s why I relay,” she said.

Shoemaker is a member of “The Wayward Women of Washougal,” comprised of members of the Red Hat Society.

She is involved in publicizing the relay.

“It doesn’t just focus on one cancer,” Shoemaker said. “It is for anyone who has had any kind of cancer or anyone who has cared for a loved one with cancer or anyone who just cares and wants to have a hand in helping to fund finding a cure.”