When she was diagnosed with brain cancer Sept. 11, 2013, doctors told Victoria Boals she likely would have 18 months to live.

When she was diagnosed with brain cancer Sept. 11, 2013, doctors told Victoria Boals she likely would have 18 months to live.

Boals has persevered for three years and is celebrating her 17th birthday.

The incoming New Albany High School senior will serve as honorary chairwoman for the Relay For Life of Gahanna and New Albany from 6 p.m. June 3 through noon June 4.

"I'm just really excited to be part of this event," Boals said.

This year will be the first time the event is at New Albany High School.

Emily Baker, a Relay For Life community manager, said the Relay previously was held at Gahanna Lincoln High School.

"So far, New Albany has shown a great presence," she said.

Meanwhile, she said, Gahanna has been supportive of the new location.

This year's event will feature a survivor reception at 6:30 p.m. for any community survivors, and a complimentary meal will be provided, Baker said. At 10 p.m. a luminaria ceremony will honor survivors and those who have died from cancer.

Baker said the fundraising goal has been set at $63,000, though she hopes to exceed that. Funds from community Relays go to the American Cancer Society.

Since starting a Relay For Life club at New Albany High School, students have raised a little more than $30,000 over the past three years, said Bubba Kidwell, who teaches special education, biology and physical science and is the defensive coordinator for the football team.

Boals has served as a spokeswoman for the club, Kidwell said. Initially, he said, the high school became active with Relay as a way to instill community awareness in its football team. Now, the club supports Boals, as well as other students coping with family members' cancer diagnoses.

"Everybody kind of has a story," Kidwell said.

Despite everything Boals has gone through, she remains positive and upbeat, Kidwell said.

"She kind of inspires everyone in the club," he said.

Boals most recently underwent surgery on her brain tumor Nov. 6. Along with finishing out her junior year, she said, she is preparing to walk in all 18 hours in this year's Relay.

Last year was her first year involved with the Relay club, she said, and she raised more $1,000 independently. This year she'll continue to fundraise independently along with the club's group efforts.

Boals said she feels lucky to be alive.

"I really want to give back in every possible way I can," she said.