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Boardman and Liberty walk to fight cancer

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - People of the Valley came together Friday night to open their hearts and help give hope to those fighting cancer.

Over a thousand people take part in the American Cancer Society's Relay in Boardman to raise money to help fight the disease, as well as pay tribute to those who have lost their battle with cancer.

Boardman's relay is the second largest in the state; second to Warren.

It begins with a lap made up of cancer survivors all wearing purple shirts.

Regina Marks was one of those survivors. She just found out yesterday that she is finally cancer free.

She says the event is a celebration. 

"Absolutely, it's a celebration if you look at it any other way you are not going to make it. Every day has to be positive you have to find the positive no matter what," says Marks.

Over the years, the Boardman relay alone has raised over $4 million for the Cancer Society.

Relay participants do it through people like Missy Megan, who said she'd get her head shaved if she reached her personal goal of $500. She raised over $1,000.

"I'm really proud of what I accomplished here today and what I did for everybody out here and for those I lost that I loved, especially my Dad and for my Mom who was married to him for 53 years," says Megan.

Liberty also had their relay Friday. Theirs is one of the only relays that takes place in a park. Their relay was in Church Hill Park.

"I think it's so important to people because they have a connection. So if it's a cancer survivor, they connect to other survivors here. If it's people who provided care for a loved one, they find someone to connect with here. It's really about a community coming together to fight and help raise money for cancer," says organizer Ron Scirocco.

Maybe one of the reasons these relays are so popular in the Mahoning Valley is because we truly do care for one another. For cancer survivors and their families, support is crucial and it should never end.

"When you're going through it, it's not only that time that you are diagnosed and you go on with your treatment. It lasts for a lifetime. It's always with you and those people are with you too. You keep those people that are close in this community. You keep them in your heart and you help others all the time," says cancer survivor, JoAnne Sura of Girard.  

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