Teams forming for Relay for Life event

By Joshua Bryant

Lexingtonians can help create a world where there is less cancer and more birthdays.

They can do so by attending Relay for Life, an event held every year in Lexington, as well as in other places around the world.

The event is held to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. Lexington’s version of the fundraiser is organized and run by J.C. Bicek and Kathryn Garrett.

Bicek and Garrett said many look forward to this event as a chance to help fight back against cancer. It gives them the feeling they can help even though they’re not doctors or nurses with chemotherapy or other cures.

“It means a lot to me,” Bicek said. “I lost my grandma to cancer, and she fought cancer separate three times over the course of nine years. This is my way, since I’m not a doctor, of fighting back and helping.”

Others do it to support those they know who have struggled with cancer.

“I started doing relay because I used to babysit for a boy who was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after I started watching over him,” Garrett said. “It means, even though I have been blessed by not being diagnosed, I can help someone who has.”

According to the Relay for Life website, 15 teams and 96 participants have signed up, and more than $1,000 has been raised so far.

Last year’s event had 15 teams, 149 participants and raised over $11,000. This year’s goal is to organize about 75 teams.

“Our goal for this year is to raise $75,000,” Garrett said.

Teams are forming now for the April 16 event, to take place from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in front of the Johnson Center on the Pieratt Student Recreation Field for at least its fifth year. It will include free food and a walking relay, where friends and family walk and run around the track all night to resemble that the fight against cancer never rests.

Along the walking track, tents are set up all around for teams that have participated in the event. All tents will be decorated differently and some will include games.

A Survivor Lap will begin the ceremonies. All survivors present will be recognized and awarded a medal for their fights against cancer, and then they will walk the first lap together.

Next is the luminary service. During the service, performed after sunset, bags with candles are placed around the walking track with the names of those fighting, those who are in remission or those who have lost their lives in the fight against cancer. Luminaries can be purchased at the event for a $5 donation apiece.

Lastly, there is the Fight Back ceremony held at the end of the night. Everyone present is encouraged to make a pledge to try to help save the lives of those fighting cancer.

Teams require at least two participants and those interested can sign up, make a donation or buy a luminary by visiting

This social event is for free, all are welcome and all donations, big or small, are accepted.