“I have always been passionate about cancer research and finding a cure, as it has affected many people throughout my life. In 2003, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and it really hit home for me. Then in 2010, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I relay so that my children and my nieces and nephew never have to hear the words, ‘You have cancer.’ When approached about becoming the event chair for this year's relay, I couldn't say no. I felt that this would be an awesome opportunity for me to make a difference and to be able to spread awareness.”
Schnebelt’s favorite parts of the relay are the Luminaria Ceremony and Survivors’ Breakfast. “The Luminaria Ceremony is a time for participants to gather and remember those who have fallen victim to cancer. Guest speakers are invited to share their stories, and candles are lit in remembrance of a loved one .... (Then) participants walk a lap around the track in silence to give respect to those who have fallen ill with cancer or to those whose lives were lost.
“A Survivor Breakfast is held for survivors in the community to come together and share their experiences with cancer. It is an opportunity for participants to reach out and connect with survivors. The Survivor Lap, which signifies the start of relay, is used to distinguish the survivors and celebrate their victory.”
The fundraising goal for 2012 is $110,000. Proceeds will go toward cancer research and helping patients.
Schnebelt adds, “Relay for Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease. Thanks in part to generous contributions to Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society helps people to get well, stay well and find cures to fight back against cancer.”