Relay for Life runs deep for family - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Relay for Life runs deep for family

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WARREN, Ohio - Through the rain, the largest Relay for Life in the state of Ohio took place on Friday, with hundreds taking part in a very emotional survivor's lap.

Completing this lap is just part of a long journey for Edward Sercich Junior and his family.

A year and a half ago, he was diagnosed with stage four bladder and lymph node cancer.

His battle is not over but this finish line gives him hope for the future.

"Our 50th anniversary is in December and I told her we're gonna make it," Edward Sercich said.

Edward's wife, daughters and many other family members have been touched by cancer.

"The three girls were diagnosed the same time as their Dad. You don't want to lose your children, but you don't want to lose your man," said Gloria Sercich.

Their granddaughter is a cervical cancer survivor and she is walking the full 24 hours in this event.

"I was blessed with only having to go through two treatments. I nipped it in the bud, but they're the ones that really need the credit for it. They're the ones that fight every day," said two year survivor Maria Pelayo.

While a cancer diagnosis is often viewed as a curse, Edward's daughter Esther says it has actually been a blessing for her family.

"You pull strength from each other because whether we're having a good day or not ... If someone else is having a bad day, we're where whoever needs us and that's what families do," said Esther Pelayo.

As the last survivor completes the lap, this year's Relay for Life is raising more than $205,000 for better treatments and early detection.

Since the Relay began, there has been a 20 percent drop in cancer deaths and more than 13 million survivors.

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