It was a night to remember for cancer survivors, caregivers, friends, coworkers and supporters at the Grayslake and Round Lake Areas Relay for Life Saturday at the Round Lake High School.
At least 350 participants on 27 teams raised more than $57,000 for the American Cancer Society to provide services to cancer patients.
Some teams have been walking the Relay for years. Bill's Buddies' member Shannon Peters said what she gets most out of the event is seeing her kids, ages 7, 12 and 14 participate. "Watching them be a part of this and them raising money to help others is just really awesome to me."
During the opening ceremonies Jemma Cabral of Chicago shared her inspiring story. In 2002 she was newly married and a new mom with 2-year-old Jacob. She suffered high fevers and weight loss for several months before being diagnosed with stage three Hodgkins Lymphoma.
"My mom walked into the room with tears in her eyes and said something no mom should ever have to say to their child. 'You have cancer.'," Cabral recalls. At 23 years old Cabral went through six months of chemotherapy, was in remission for four months, then relapsed.
At that point Cabral had a stem cell transplant and has been cancer-free for nine years. She walked the track Saturday night alongside her son, now 11, and dozens of other cancer survivors.
The festivities continued through the night with a caregivers lap, a Luminaria Ceremony, games, music, a silent auction and more.