By Amanda Jess
“Celebrate, remember and fight.”
Stella Levy quoted the Relay for Life motto this week, saying that it summed up what the event meant to her perfectly: celebrating with survivors, remembering those that lost their battle with cancer and honouring those that are still fighting.
Levy will be celebrating as a survivor for the third time in this year’s relay in Kentville on June 22.
“Once you go, you just want to keep going back,” she said.
The 70-year-old from Wolfville had her breast cancer removed in February 2009. Due to a mammogram, it was found quickly. She said without the mammogram, she wouldn’t have found it, and for that reason, she encourages others to get them done as well.
Levy said she relied on family, friends and her belief in God to get her through the difficult time. She advises the friends and family of those still fighting to be supportive and sensitive.
“Be there to encourage them and walk alongside them,” Levy said.
Early detection, leading a healthy life and a having a positive outlook is key to winning the battle with cancer, she said.
“Keep your chin up, “ Levy said.
Levy cited the luminary ceremony as an inspiring part of the Relay for Life.
“You run across names you know, and it’s very, very emotional,” she said.
She lights a luminary every year for her late father, who lost his life to a brain tumor. She said the sales of luminaries are important, as well as other donations. She encourages others to support the relay when they see people out collecting money for it.
“Lots of times I would’ve walked by them, but I wouldn’t now.”
The Relay is an unforgettable event, according to Levy. She said the people willing to give up 12 hours to walk are a “great bunch of people.”
This year’s event will get underway at 6 p.m. in Kentville’s Memorial Park.
For more on the local relay event, see the website.