FRUITA, Colo. (KKCO) -- More than one million people in the United States get cancer each year and two in every three people diagnosed with cancer today will survive at least five years, thanks in part to the American Cancer Society.
Hundreds in the valley took to the track at the Fruita 8/9 school to raise funds for Relay for Life, benefiting cancer research.
"I just think it's a great opportunity to raise awareness and raise funds for research and to spread the word," said Becky Soper a participant and cancer survivor.
Soper is a cancer survivor who joined her family at Relay for Life. The event kicked off with a BBQ, belly dancers, and even a bounce house for the kids. Officials say participants were up all night long.
“The point of the relay is to walk all night, at least have somebody from your team on the track, walking all night long and it's just to help raise awareness for cancer research," said Stacy Cox, Co-Chair of Relay for Life.
The fundraiser is a festive event, but the Linda Peck, a two-time cancer survivor, says the walk stirs up emotions for her. And around 10pm things got solemn with a candlelight vigil to remember those affected by cancer.
“Especially the Luminaria lighting [ceremony], ya know, very emotional and it's very touching a it gets a bit overwhelming," said Peck.
And for Soper, one of 20 survivors at the walk, she hopes the event not only raises money, but awareness for the disease.
“Folks tend to have, it's not gonna happen to me, it's not in my family, it doesn't-well that all happened to me and it was, it did happen, so getting the word out there," said Soper.
Relay for Life concluded early this morning with a pancake breakfast.
According to officials the event raised nearly 25-thousand dollars for cancer research.
If you are looking to get involved for next year's fundraiser, on June 19th a wrap up party and meeting at the La Quinta in Fruita, will discuss plans for next year's event.