Relay For Life of Canton and Plymouth

Dancing for Tomorrow

Dancing for Tomorrow

There are so many loved ones who have fought, and not always won, the fight against cancer. I sometimes think that my family and friends have a disproportionately high cancer rate. However, when I go to Relay meetings I am reminded that everyone knows someone who has fought or is fighting cancer. It is not something that we talk about on a regular basis, but it deserves a spotlight.

Every year as a studio, we Relay for Miss Joanne. She is a second mother to every student that enters her door, and an inspiration to so many. When she was diagnosed with cancer, it was the first time I came face to face with the helplessness that cancer causes.

As many of you know, Miss Joanne is a cancer survivor. In 2007 when the studio opened for the season, a parent meeting was called. Joanne had cancer, but did not want the kids to know because she did not want them to worry. She told very few people that what she really had was Stage 3 Grade 3C Eudiometrical Cancer that had spread to her blood and lymph nodes. In her need to protect all of us, Joanne had forgotten one simple thing: We were all family. And as family should, we did all we could think of to support her. We cleaned and painted, made scrapbooks, made dinners, held fundraisers, and of course—made her a big part of Relay.

However, all of this somehow felt desperate, like it wasn’t enough. It felt like no matter how hard we raged against the cancer, we couldn’t make her better. We were grasping at straws and even if no one said it, everyone knew it. In everything that we did, you could feel two things in the air: Love and Powerlessness. Being that young, this was all so new to me. Not cancer itself, but the way this cancer was. My great grandmother had died so quickly from cancer, and when my uncle had cancer there were scientific, tangible things that we could do, as he was a candidate for a bone marrow transplant. With Miss Joanne, I had never felt so ineffective, so futile. This is the reason cancer touches everyone. It is not just the person diagnosed with the cancer; it is a chaotic dance performed by everyone around him or her. It is a dance without rhythm and at times without music, but always with purpose.

By May of 2007, Miss Joanne was still very sick. At the Relay event that year, the director gave our team permission to drive her in as far as possible to our site. With some help, she made it over and sat down to watch the luminary ceremony and the silent lap. Finally, the children and the parents of the studio acknowledged what they were feeling. We all walked, crying and holding hands, for Joanne. When we returned to our site, my mom promised Joanne that she would walk the survivor’s lap the next year. This statement was of will and faith more than it was of scientific certainty. In this case, scientific certainty was the one thing that we didn’t have on our side. Joanne left after that, completely exhausted and sick, saying over and over how glad she was that she came. I now know how much that night meant to her. How much all of our support meant to her. It was uplifting, and definitely a reason to keep fighting. The following year, Joanne was able to walk a part of the survivor’s lap but was still too weak to get very far. Later that year she received her first “all clear” check up and is now, eight years later, well into remission. This year, Miss Joanne will walk that survivor’s lap accompanied by many other members of our ever-growing studio family. This year, they will all be able to take in the love and support that we have to give. This year, we will celebrate… and dance. We like to think that she is “cured”, but as of right now, there still is no cure. I Relay to find this cure, so that maybe one day my children can come to me and say, “Did you know that people used to die of cancer?”

Why do you Relay?

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Dancing for Tomorrow

we’ve raised $1,122
Our Goal $1,000.00
#27 out of 58 Teams

Our Event


Why We Relay

Dancing for Tomorrow

There are so many loved ones who have fought, and not always won, the fight against cancer. I sometimes think that my family and friends have a disproportionately high cancer rate. However, when I go to Relay meetings I am reminded that everyone knows someone who has fought or is fighting cancer. It is not something that we talk about on a regular basis, but it deserves a spotlight.

Every year as a studio, we Relay for Miss Joanne. She is a second mother to every student that enters her door, and an inspiration to so many. When she was diagnosed with cancer, it was the first time I came face to face with the helplessness that cancer causes.

As many of you know, Miss Joanne is a cancer survivor. In 2007 when the studio opened for the season, a parent meeting was called. Joanne had cancer, but did not want the kids to know because she did not want them to worry. She told very few people that what she really had was Stage 3 Grade 3C Eudiometrical Cancer that had spread to her blood and lymph nodes. In her need to protect all of us, Joanne had forgotten one simple thing: We were all family. And as family should, we did all we could think of to support her. We cleaned and painted, made scrapbooks, made dinners, held fundraisers, and of course—made her a big part of Relay.

However, all of this somehow felt desperate, like it wasn’t enough. It felt like no matter how hard we raged against the cancer, we couldn’t make her better. We were grasping at straws and even if no one said it, everyone knew it. In everything that we did, you could feel two things in the air: Love and Powerlessness. Being that young, this was all so new to me. Not cancer itself, but the way this cancer was. My great grandmother had died so quickly from cancer, and when my uncle had cancer there were scientific, tangible things that we could do, as he was a candidate for a bone marrow transplant. With Miss Joanne, I had never felt so ineffective, so futile. This is the reason cancer touches everyone. It is not just the person diagnosed with the cancer; it is a chaotic dance performed by everyone around him or her. It is a dance without rhythm and at times without music, but always with purpose.

By May of 2007, Miss Joanne was still very sick. At the Relay event that year, the director gave our team permission to drive her in as far as possible to our site. With some help, she made it over and sat down to watch the luminary ceremony and the silent lap. Finally, the children and the parents of the studio acknowledged what they were feeling. We all walked, crying and holding hands, for Joanne. When we returned to our site, my mom promised Joanne that she would walk the survivor’s lap the next year. This statement was of will and faith more than it was of scientific certainty. In this case, scientific certainty was the one thing that we didn’t have on our side. Joanne left after that, completely exhausted and sick, saying over and over how glad she was that she came. I now know how much that night meant to her. How much all of our support meant to her. It was uplifting, and definitely a reason to keep fighting. The following year, Joanne was able to walk a part of the survivor’s lap but was still too weak to get very far. Later that year she received her first “all clear” check up and is now, eight years later, well into remission. This year, Miss Joanne will walk that survivor’s lap accompanied by many other members of our ever-growing studio family. This year, they will all be able to take in the love and support that we have to give. This year, we will celebrate… and dance. We like to think that she is “cured”, but as of right now, there still is no cure. I Relay to find this cure, so that maybe one day my children can come to me and say, “Did you know that people used to die of cancer?”

Why do you Relay?

Team Members

Name Amount Donate

Thank You Donors

  1. FromAmount
Top Donors
  1. Anonymous$40
  2. Anonymous$10
  3. Anonymous$10
  4. Bernard Hyland$35
  5. Cnp Cash$224
  6. Cnp Cash$118
  7. Grandma$50
  8. Jane Trosen$100
  9. Julie Knakal$100
  10. Karen Blue$25
  11. Kim$100
  12. Linda L Hyland$20
  13. Madison Miazek$25
  14. Makenna Van Horn$100
  15. Meghan Hable$25
  16. Mrs. Penny Johnson$25
  17. Mrs. Tracy Sarah Albus$40
  18. Oliver and Kalen Gonzalez$50
  19. Phyllis Turek$25
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When Communities Come Together

The money raised through Relay For Life events helps realize the American Cancer Society's mission to save lives, celebrate life, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

Donations are used to fund life-saving cancer research, patient support services, prevention and education information, and detection and treatment programs. Here's how the money raised last year is helping make a difference.

$406 million

Funding potentially life-saving cancer research grants.

1.2+ million

Calls and chats from patients/caregivers seeking info and support.

456 thousand

Nights of free lodging provided to patients at Hope Lodge®.