I attended the Relay for Life kickoff event Saturday, an event that brings together people from all walks of life who have a common bond.

Entering the event center for the kickoff, it was evident the room was filled with bounds of hope and love as survivors, those currently battling the disease and their families joined together.

There were warriors like Misti Field, the event chair, who are fighting to conquer their battle with cancer and those like Ava Marie Nunnley’s family who were there to pay tribute to a loved one who lost a hard-fought battle.

Field was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2012, and just talking to her it’s evident she exudes strength and courage.

“People think cancer is a death sentence, and it’s not. It’s a diagnosis,” she said. “I’m blessed to have my family. I can conquer the world with one hand as long as my husband and my girls are holding the other.”

Nunnley died of bone cancer in April 2010 and her family joins together to pay tribute to her by attending events like the Relay for Life kickoff. Brandy Williams said through their loss they found hope by helping others through the American Cancer Society in Nunnley’s honor.

Nearly everyone knows someone who battled cancer or is currently fighting the disease. It’s something that binds people from all backgrounds together, because cancer doesn’t discriminate.

It’s people like Field and Nunnley’s family who are helping bring hope and light to such a dark place. It’s people like them who are changing the face of cancer and what it means to be diagnosed with the disease.

Contact Natalie Stewart at nstewart@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7555

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