On Saturday morning at 10 a.m., survivors, caregivers, family and friends will fight back against cancer as they take the track at Brighton High School for the 20th Annual Brighton Relay for Life.
In the past 20 years, Brighton Relay for Life has raised $2.1 million, according to Theresa Hurley from the American Cancer Society.
"That is huge," she said.
Hurley said that Brighton is one of the largest relay events in the area, with more than 350 participants and 41 teams this year. Hurley also said since the event is open to the public, anywhere between 500 and 800 people will attend.
This will be Howell resident Amy Downer's first relay in Brighton, but she has been participating in the event in Grand Rapids for six years.
"I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2007 and shortly after I was diagnosed, my dad was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer," Downer said. "My dad and I faught together."
After that, Downer and her father decided to join a family friend's Relay for LIfe team for her mom, who is also a cancer survivor. So they named the team "3 Cheers" for the three cancer survivors.
"I decided to relay for myself, my dad and my uncle, all of those that are battling, for those that are survivors and all of those caregivers out there," Downer said.
Downer decided to start a Brighton team because as a Howell resident, she was doing most of her fundraising locally. When she kept getting requests to join her previous team, she started a new one with a friend, called "Cure Crusaders."
Cure Crusaders has raised about $7,800 for the Brighton Relay for Life so far.
Downer said she still plans to relay again later in the year with her previous team.
The 24-hour event will be filled with food and traditional relay ceremonies, such as the luminara ceremony at dusk. This year, Brighton Relay is teaming up with Gleaners Food Bank and asking people to bring canned food to hold down the luminaras.
There will also be a flash mob this year.
For more information about the Brighton Relay for Life and a full list of events, visit the American Cancer Society online.