Relay for Life Truckee: Tune in Saturday for live coverage | SierraSun.com

Relay for Life Truckee: Tune in Saturday for live coverage

Amy Edgett
Sierra Sun

Cheryl Hogan Photography/Community submitted photoThere are tears and triumph during the call of survivors' names at dusk. For more photos, visit www.cherylhogan.com.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; There is one c-word nobody wants to hear. Ginger Taylor has heard it too many times. Cancer.

Pregnant with her first child, Taylor induced her son three weeks early so her mother, battling stomach cancer in 1991, could meet him. Eleven days later, her mother died.

Taylor’s older brother had a tumor on his spine and needed a morphine drip for the pain. Unable to use a seatbelt, he was thrown through the windshield in a car accident and died.

Her husband died four years ago of liver cancer.

and#8220;With my husband it was a real roller coaster ride,and#8221; Taylor said. He received a transplant, and they were on a high until September 2005, when the cancer returned. Due to the transplant, Taylor’s husband was unable to manage hardcore chemo treatments. They found out he had two months to live.

and#8220;We tried to live a normal life,and#8221; Taylor said. and#8220;We took our (then) 14-year-old son to Hawaii and continued to operate our construction business.and#8221;

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The last week of her husband’s life, Taylor drove him to job sites, he spent Friday at home doing projects with their son and he died Sunday, the week before Thanksgiving.

Taylor expressed the void left in their lives: and#8220;When you lose a spouse it hurts; even after four and a half years, any given day feels like yesterday. I’ve been touched closer than a lot of people, been hit a little harder than most and this year I am turning a corner.and#8221;

Taylor first joined a Relay for Life in Minnesota in the early 90s, when her younger sister encouraged the family to participate after their mother’s death. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life unites communities across the country each year to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease.

Now Taylor heads up Team Citizens Bank for the Truckee Relay, gathering donations from friends and family, holding bake sales and selling luminaria bags, bookmarks, gift baskets and other crafts. Mike Lathbury of Truckee Pizza held several benefit lunches for Team Citizens Bank.

and#8220;Rather than sit at home and veg out on TV, I make things,and#8221; said the ever-craftsy Taylor.

Many items will be on sale to benefit ACS during the 24-hour cancer walk Saturday through Sunday. Glow sticks, baked goods, snacks, crafts and luminaria to commemorate those who battled cancer and lost will be available. The festival atmosphere, with live music by The Deckheads and high school performers singing jazz and funk embodies the theme of the 2010 relay: hope.

It is also the name of one of Taylor’s two sisters who will fly in to participate.

and#8220;Relay is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we’ve lost and fight back against the disease,and#8221; said Zoe Richards, volunteer Event Chair.

For Ruth Geresy, 2010 Team Development Chair and Chief Bottle Washer, Relay means more than most words can describe.

and#8220;I started relaying in honor of my daughter Jenny, now a four-year survivor of ovarian cancer, and my brother Jim; in memory of my mother, Ramona Kroske and my best friends Chris Carvolth and Bill Kerr. Today I relay for too many that have been afflicted with this terrible disease, including my dear friends Helyn North and Jill Ebner,and#8221; she said. and#8220;I relay for hope, support, awareness, programs and research that we may some day not have anyone have to hear the horrible words and#8216;You have cancer.’ This is the mission of the American Cancer Society and I wholeheartedly endorse these goals and our community for supporting the fight.and#8221;

Perhaps Taylor sums it up best: and#8220;It’s a fight, we’re going to keep fighting, I’m gonna fight ’til I can’t fight no more.and#8221;