Relay for Life supporters walk for a cure |

Relay for Life supporters walk for a cure

As a two-year breast cancer survivor, walking in Saturday’s Relay for Life was an emotional roller coaster for Indian Hills resident Claudia Orput.

“It’s hard as a cancer survivor to be a part of it,” she said. “It’s emotional for me to be around so many people in the same boat, but it’s also uplifting.”

Orput, her son, and son-in-law participate in as many cancer research fundraisers as they can.

“We do the Carson one and the Reno one,” she said. “We like to give our support to every one of them we can come to.”

The 16th annual Relay for Life at Lampe Park raised $46,500 for the American Cancer Society.

“As you walk and reflect, please remember that we can make hope happen,” event co-chairwoman Stacey Ziglar said during opening ceremonies.

While walking the track around Lampe Park, Gardnerville resident Sherie Ashurst prayed.

“I pray for the survivors, and for the caregivers, and for the people we lost,” she said. “

Being an ovarian cancer survivor, Ashurst has walked with the GE Energy team every year.

“I want to raise awareness for all victims of cancer,” she added.

Decorated luminaria bags with messages such as “Manny, forever in our memory,” and “Hope for a cure. Beat breast cancer” lined the walking track.

Marina Hedwall of Gardnerville walked with the 28-member St. Gall Catholic Church team in support of cancer victims everywhere.

“We are walking because we know cancer affects so many of our parishioners and Carson Valley community members,” she said. “We know that prayers are needed.”

Hedwall lost her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and mother-in-law to the disease.

“I can’t even imagine the difficulty each person has facing cancer,” she said. “This one-night vigil is just a fraction of an act of compassion we can share with cancer victims and their families during their fight.”

Aimee Souza walked with two of her cousins in honor of her victory over cancer in 2011.

“I survived uterine cancer in 2011, so it means a lot to me,” she said. “I kicked cancer’s butt, and I’m going to walk to help others survive.”

Casey Peterson of Carson City squeezed himself into a little black dress and tights for the Mr. Relay competition in honor of his friend Tiffani Barber.

“She has a brain tumor and cancer, and is fighting the good fight. She has taught me more about myself, and about positivity,” he said. “Plus, I’m having fun, and that’s what it’s all about.”

As the youngest and oldest survivors, 1-year-old Quinn Pace and 82-year-old Alice McGreal led Saturday’s survivor walk.

Donations are being accepted until the end of August by calling (775) 828-2210, or

Checks payable to the American Cancer Society can be sent to 691 Sierra Rose Drive, Suite A, Reno, NV, 89511. Note for Douglas County relay in the memo line.