The American Cancer Society's annual survivors and caretakers dinner will be a touching celebration of more and more birthdays, said Chris Knapp, a cancer survivor and spokeswoman for the annual dinner.
"It's not just about providing a nice meal -- it's about recognizing the ones who have survived cancer and those who have cared for them, whether it be a spouse, family member or friend," Knapp said. "Everyone looks forward to it every year. Each year brings more people, which means we are celebrating more birthdays."
The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, April 14, at the Central Ohio Technical College Pataskala campus on Broad Street and Taylor Road in Reynoldsburg. It is open to all cancer survivors and caretakers.
The dinner includes a presentation from Voices of Hope, a group of regional survivors and caregivers who tell their own stories and talk about how the American Cancer Society's programs and services have helped them.
"It's really touching," Knapp said.
Knapp said survivors and caregivers who would like to attend the dinner should contact Jan Lucas via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The dinner is a prelude to the Pataskala Relay For Life, scheduled July 12 and 13 at Watkins Memorial High School, 8868 Watkins Road SW in Pataskala.
The Relay For Life will begin about 2 p.m. July 12 with a survivors' lap celebrating those who have survived cancer or are battling cancer. Later in the evening, a luminaria ceremony will be held for those who have experienced cancer.
The event will conclude the morning of July 13.
Participants can sign up for teams, which are made up of eight to 15 people. During the event, at least one member of each team is walking or running the track at all times.
Games, music, live entertainment and pep rallies encourage people to keep walking or running throughout the night.
Anyone wanting to join or contribute to the Pataskala Relay For Life should contact Tim Callahan of the American Cancer Society at 888-227-6446, ext. 3212. Online registration is available at relayforlife.org.
The goal of the Pataskala Relay is to raise money for the central Ohio chapter of the American Cancer Society and to raise community awareness of the programs and services the American Cancer Society offers.
Knapp, who has participated in the Relay For Life for six years, said she plans to attend both local Relay events.
"I'll continue to walk until there's a cure," Knapp said. "There"s going to be a cure one day."