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Heroes unite to fight cancer: Beltrami County Relay for Life held at Sanford Center

Superheroes, from left, Taytum Duvall, Cadin Duvall and Gavin Jacobson walk the Relay track after the Parade of Heroes as part of Beltrami County's Relay for Life event on Saturday at the Sanford Center. (Micah Friez | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI—The Beltrami County Relay for Life's annual relay took place at the Sanford Center on Saturday, and plenty of heroes were on hand to join in the fight against cancer.

"A hero is something totally different to each person. To one person, maybe it's Batman or Superman, it's the 'superheroes.' To somebody else, it's a doctor, it's a nurse," said event lead Stephanie Moe. "Heroes are different to everybody. Going through cancer, people need their heroes. They need the people who are standing next to them and supporting them, and we're trying to showcase all our different heroes."

With a theme of "Be a hero until cancer is zero," the 21st annual event included activity sites, a car show, live music, a Parade of Heroes lap around the Relay track and a luminary ceremony was scheduled, as well. Moe said that the gathering is a way for people affected by cancer to come together and unite.

"It means the world to them. Whether they have just started this journey of cancer, whether they are completely done with it, it's a place for them to talk to other people who have gone through the same thing," she said. "We are all united in that we're trying to fight cancer, we're trying to help people with cancer, and we're trying to get rid of cancer."

And although the fight isn't over yet, having relays like Saturday's is a beneficial way to boost moral in a long and taxing battle.

"It gives (people) energy and support, and a reason to keep going. Maybe that's the lift they needed to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's very powerful for them," said Moe. "It is a time for us to remember the people who we have lost to cancer. But today is definitely a big celebration."

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Echo Press in Alexandria. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Alexandria area sports updates and jokes he thinks are funny.

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