At the July 12 Relay for Life Survivor Celebration at Hosanna Lutheran Church, the speaker, a four-year cancer survivor, was only 52 years old.
Craig Anderson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2007. Until then, he said, he was ignorant about cancer. When his wife invited him to the Forest Lake Relay for Life, he thought it was just a social event.
Now Anderson has embraced the cause.
“I have many people with me on this journey,” he said during his speech. “I can give back to the community and give hope to others.”
Anderson urged the audience, including cancer survivors and health care professionals, to give each other hope. “Be available. Nurture,” he said. “Your part is to give back.”
An environmental engineer, Anderson said he was raised by his adoptive parents with a desire to learn. Surviving cancer, he said, taught him how to hope, how to pray, and how to rely on others.
Also speaking that evening was Lori Anafarta, licensed therapist and cancer support specialist, who talked about the power of positive thinking in survivorship and caring.
Do you want to honor cancer survivors and remember lost loved ones? Raise money to fight cancer? Be part of a huge celebration of life?
If you do, consider joining a team at the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.
The 2012 Forest Lake Relay For Life begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, at the Forest Lake High School. The opening ceremony will be at 6:30 and the survivor lap at 7:30. The luminaria ceremony begins at dusk.
Each team camps out at the high school. All night long, one representative of the team will be walking or running to raise money for cancer, until the closing ceremony Saturday at 6 a.m.