'We Bleed Purple': South Walton Relay for Life seeking more support

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 05:05 PM.

Whatever obstacles they face as volunteers, Brunson and Keeter dedicate more than 20 hours a week on top of their full-time jobs because of the affects cancer has had in their personal lives. Both have lost family and close friends to various types of cancer. As more friends and family face the disease, these women just keep fighting.

"We just want to see an end to cancer," Brunson said. "We bleed purple."

Purple is the color associated with Relay for Life. Even on a regular Monday afternoon, Keeter and Brunson have bits and pieces of purple represented — whether it's their jewelry, purses or even iPhone covers.

With the 100 year birthday of ACS, marks a new campaign for the nonprofit: Finish the Fight. At the overnight Relay for Life event, teams comprised of friends, co-workers, cancer survivors and more celebrate the lives that were lost to cancer and honor  those still fighting the battle. A representative of each team has to be on the Relay track at all times, but the first lap, the victory lap, is for cancer survivors. As the survivors make their way around the track, they are celebrated with a loud and energetic applause.

This year's Relay for Life theme is "Teaming up Against Cancer." All attendees are encouraged to dress the part, whether they're representing a sport or even academic teams such as debate or chess. There will be music, games, and even a birthday celebration for ACS, but there will be no sleeping.

"Cancer doesn't sleep and neither do we," Keeter said.

The event symbolizes a day in the life of a cancer patient, Brunson said. As the night goes on and people start to feel tired from walking and event activities, they get a sense of what cancer patients endure. When the sun comes up the following day, it represents the end of treatment.

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