FORT MILL — Faye Adams had never heard of Relay for Life, but it became a huge part of her life.
Adams, 35, was diagnosed with throat cancer in July 2011. After chemotherapy, her cancer returned. After surgery and four and half months of voice therapy, Adams had a negative scan for her throat cancer.
“[Cancer] can enlighten you,” she said. “I look at life in a different way. I don’t get mad at people anymore.”
In January, her cancer returned and moved to her uterus. After another bout of chemo and removal of her uterus, Adams received a cancer-free report in March.
“We’re hoping this time we’re done,” she said.
Adams and her husband are in the process of adopting a child.
“God wanted me to go that route and didn’t know how to tell me,” she said.
Even though she has not gone the full five years, Adams said she refers to herself as cancer free.
Adams got involved with Relay for the first time last year. She said her husband tried to be there for her when she was diagnosed a month after their wedding. “It was especially hard for him,” she said. “Relay is a time for family and friends to support you in a way they can’t any other way.”
Relay for Life of York East will be held April 26 at 7 p.m. at Rock Hill High School. Survivor registration begins at 6 p.m. This year’s theme is Teaming up to Fight Cancer.
“Relay is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we’ve lost, and fight back against the disease,” said Nation Ford High School senior Forrest Holloman, the Relay York East social media marketing chair.
Relay is free and open to the public, and you do not need to sign up to attend.
Adams’ team, Team Hope, will do face painting and sell bracelets with cancer charms to raise money for the American Cancer Society during Relay. Last year, her team raised $400 with fundraisers alone.
Adams said her friends and coworkers have been nothing but supportive since she was diagnosed.
“Everyone I know is ready to come out,” she said. Adams said she has met many new people since joining Relay. “Cancer has opened a lot of doors for me,” she said.
Adams is most looking forward to the remembrance ceremony during Relay. Everyone joins together in a walk in silence around the track while the names of those who lost the battle with cancer or are still fighting are read aloud.
“It’s the most beautiful experience of the way humans should be,” Adams said. “It’s amazing to see how many people come together for the same reason.”
Adams said she wants to spread more education about the many cancers that people struggle with.
“There are too many people getting cancer,” she said. “God gave me cancer for a reason.”
If she does lose her battle with cancer, Adams said she will be remembered as “smiling and laughing.”
So far, York East has raised more than $13,000 toward their goal of $70,000.
To sign up for Relay or make a donation, go to relayforlife.org/yorkeastsc.