By Angel MedFlight Contributor
Angel MedFlight, the leading air ambulance service, has a special bond with cancer patients, often transporting them to facilities to undergo treatment and specialized care. We see it as one of many ways to help fight this terrible disease. Another is becoming involved with the American Cancer Society and sponsoring events like their Relay for Life in Anthem, Ariz., which takes place this weekend.
Mike Chartrand is the chairman for this year’s Relay for Life in Anthem and a 21-year cancer survivor. “Angel MedFlight is an awesome weapon to have in the fight against cancer, ” says Chartand. “It’s great that Angel MedFlight is able to transport patients when time is of the essence.”
The Relay for Life in Anthem will be held Saturday, April 20 at the Community Softball Fields. It’s an organized overnight community fundraising walk which includes teams of people camping out around a track or path. Members of teams each take turns walking around the track. The event also includes snacks, games and activities.
Saturday’s event kicks off with an opening ceremony at 6:00 p.m. and then a Survivor’s Lap 30 minutes later as cancer survivors, including Mike, take the first lap around the track cheered on by other participants.
Mike takes part in the Relay for Life every year with his niece, Kaly — also a cancer survivor. Kaly was diagnosed with retinoblastoma at 10 months and it was shortly after that Mike walked in his first relay. Doctors removed the affected eye and Mike says Kaly had to go through “about six months of chemotherapy.” He’s happy to report his 7-year-old niece is in full remission saying she lives like a normal kid, and then some. “She’s a ball of fire,” says Mike.
Karynda Kearns recently moved to Anthem and will be walking in the relay for the first time. Both she and her husband Brandon, Flight Operations Director at Aviation West Charters, have been touched by the disease. Both have had grandmothers survive breast cancer. “This relay is for such a great cause,” says Karynda. ” I know of at least two people fighting cancer in the community and it’s great to see the people rally around them and show them they’re not alone in this battle.”
Chartrand says Saturday’s Relay for Life “is a celebration of the folks who are currently fighting cancer, the survivors and it’s also a time to remember those who have passed.” He says it’s great to see the entire community come out to find a cure, realizing that everyone has that same common goal.
As a Gold member sponsor of Anthem’s Relay for Life, Angel MedFlight is proud to stand with the American Cancer Society in its quest to find a cure.