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Relay more than a walk
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LynnJovan and Megan Livingston burn up the track. - photo by Photo by Patrick Donahue

RFL Survivors complete

Relay for Life Survivor lap

RFL Luminaries complete

Relay for Life luminaries

RFL Hendricks complete

Emily Hendricks performs at Relay for Life.

For Gert Campbell, the laps around the track at Effingham County High School on Friday night and Saturday morning were more than mere steps.

She has survived four separate bouts with cancer, but cancer claimed her husband’s life 15 years ago. So the Effingham County Relay for Life event, which brought hundreds to the ECHS track Friday night, has special meaning to her.

“I really can’t explain it,” she said. “It’s very touching. I’m blessed to be living.”

Campbell, nearing her 70th birthday, has had breast cancer twice and lung cancer twice. She has been free of lung cancer for five years and free of breast cancer for three years.

“She continues to amaze her doctors,” said her daughter, Bonnie DeLoach.

Her husband Harold Campbell Sr. died in 1995 after contracting esophegial cancer. Like many of the survivors and those who didn’t, there were luminaries lit along the track for the silent lap.

“The luminaries are what’s touching,” she said.

There was also entertainment scheduled throughout the evening and early morning hours, and there were various fundraisers for the teams involved. Twenty-two teams took part in an effort to raise at least $70,000.

Campbell was joined by DeLoach and her daughter Blair Hughes, who had her infant son James Hughes along.

“I just have a lot to be thankful for,” Campbell said. “I just bless the Lord every day.”