Roughly 400 people gathered at Snoqualmie’s Centennial Fields Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13, for Snoqualmie Valley Relay for Life, to support cancer surviviors and those still facing an uphill battle with the disease, and to give their time and energy to work toward a cure.
Survivors and those still fighting the disease walked an abbreviated first lap to the song ‘Hero,’ by Enrique Iglesias. Teresa Warren, who is currently battling breast cancer, led the procession, followed by men and women who have survived the disease and the taxing treatment required to clear cancer cells from their bodies. Participants of the first lap ranged from current cancer patients to survivors of more than 25 years.
Family, friends, caretakers and community members cheered and applauded during the first lap before starting laps of their own to raise funds for the event.
Relay for Life is a family affair for Marika Loudenback, who has participated for the past several years. This year she helped to organize the event as a youth coordinator. Not stopping there, Loudenback organized a station to collect hair for Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a program that gathers hair donations to supply free wigs to women who have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatment.
One wig requires clippings from six donors.
While Relay participants walked laps around Centennial Field, nearly a dozen young ladies gathered on the edge of the course to support each other as they said good-bye to their long hair and hello to their short summer ‘dos. Loudenback expected about three girls to donate on Saturday. Instead, 10 women stepped forward to lop off their locks. In all, the evening event gathered enough hair for two wigs.
“I never thought it would be like this,” she said. “I am so excited at the fact that we could make a wig at our first event.”