Supporting cancer survivors in Rutland County - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Supporting cancer survivors in Rutland County

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RUTLAND, Vt. - Rutland County has already raised millions in the fight against cancer. Saturday hundreds came out to continue to battle the disease at the 25th annual Relay for Life.

Nancy McKenzie has spent much of her life helping people with cancer. As a nurse with the Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, she was always treating patients, until last March, she suddenly became one herself.

"Seven years of hospice nursing and one day I had trouble swallowing and ended up being diagnosed with esophageal cancer," said Nancy McKenzie.

McKenzie and hundreds of others came out Saturday to support those battling the disease, those who lost their battle - and survivors. In the past 25 years the event has been held, Rutland County has raised over 2 million dollars. This year, the Relay For Life has 1300 registered participants raising hundreds of thousands to support the 32-hundred cancer survivors in Rutland County. The event also raises funds to support research and treatment.

"To help fund the fight against cancer, and to give back to our survivors through different avenues such as bringing survivors to treatment," said Richard Rivers, Event Chair along with Nancy Greenwood.

Some who took laps around the track at the Vermont State Fairgrounds were doing it in memory of those who lost their battle. Like Judy and Ron Wilder, who walked for Ron's sister Joan Moyer. She died in 2012 after being diagnosed only five months prior.

"It's the first time I had been through it with someone that close to me and I was amazed at how fast a person can go downhill," said Ron Wilder.

Nancy McKenzie is still undergoing treatment but as she always has, she continues to support and encourage others who have the disease.

"Keep up the fight and um, take one day at a time and just hang in there," said McKenzie.

Hundreds honoring survivors, remembering those they have lost, and continuing on with raising funds to help end cancer.

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