Persistence pays off. Although Relay for Life Muscatine (RLM) had to delay their annual Relay for Life event by several months due to this spring’s historic flooding of downtown Muscatine, the group had a perfect day to hold their event at the riverfront on Saturday, August 24th. Along with having the weather cooperate, numerous people from around the community cooperated too by coming together to support finding a cure for cancer, raising $45,263.82 in the process.
Each year, RLM’s Relay for Life raises money for local American Cancer Society programs, such as giving free rides to Muscatine County cancer patients, paying for lodging for patients and their families during treatments, and supporting research at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. Along with these noble goals, Relay for Life also celebrates the journeys of local cancer survivors through events such as the Caregiver and Survivor Walk, Survivor Dinner, and the Hero of Hope.
This year’s Hero of Hope, Ashley Loveless, shared just how blessed she felt to hold this position. “When they asked me, I was so honored. I had no idea I was even being considered. . .. The main goal of the Hero of Hope is to be the light at the end of the tunnel, and, as someone who has been through most of the [cancer treatment] process, to show that there is hope and that you can recover. . .. I take the honor very seriously.”
In the months leading up to Relay for Life, Loveless appreciated getting to plan the event and help come up with ways to honor other survivors and people with cancer. At fundraising events leading up to Relay for Life, and during the day’s activities, Loveless truly valued getting to tell her story to people currently fighting cancer, and to reinvigorate them to keep fighting their battles.
After RLM’s Relay for Life ended and volunteers totaled donations, they proudly announced that they beat their goal for the year, $45,000 by $263.82. Loveless felt pleased that the community poured so much support into the event, acknowledging Muscatine’s record of going all in for important causes. “It’s awesome [we surpassed the goal] but I can’t say I’m surprised. When we do things in this town, we do it big. I never had a doubt that in some way, we would meet the goal to help people in the community.”
With RLM’s twenty-eighth Relay for Life successfully over for the year, all those involved in planning and putting it on could not feel better about providing so much support to the American Cancer Society and those in our community who benefit from its support and services. The hope generated by all of this year’s Relay for Life participants will continue to provide inspiration for Muscatine County residents who need a boost in their fight against cancer, and keep the hope alive that one day, we will find a cure for cancer.