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Hartland Relay For Life

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Hartland Relay For Life participants spread the word at Hartland’s Memorial Day Parade.(Photo: SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Jennifer Eberbach, Livingston Daily

RELAY FOR LIFE 2015 SCHEDULE

HARTLAND-Hartland Relay For Life volunteer co-leaders Laura DeRosier and Maggie DeLauder and others started the Hartland Moms fundraising team four years ago. People in their lives who have lost battles with cancer inspired them to participate.

“I started doing it for my mom. She passed back in 1985,” DeLauder said.

After finding out she had an inoperable mass on her brain, her mother took her own life.

“Back then, cancer was a death sentence,” she said.

Whereas her mother “didn’t tell anyone,” DeLauder “decided I wanted to be really open” about her own battle with breast cancer. She found out last New Year’s Eve.

“I wanted everyone to know what I was going through, make people aware that you should get mammograms and get rid of myths,” said DeLauder, who even let people feel her breasts to “see what a tumor would feel like.”

Hartland Relay For Life will be held 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Hartland Education Support Service Center, 9525 E. M-59 in Hartland Township.

Being open, telling personal stories and sharing resources and advice is a big part of Relay For Life events. This year, Hartland teams have all chosen a type of cancer to focus on during the event. For example, the Hartland Moms will share resources on childhood cancer awareness.

DeRosier, a preschool teacher with Hartland Consolidated Schools, was inspired to start Hartland Moms when one of her young students, who passed away last year, was diagnosed with the disease.

Years ago, she had a run-in with skin cancer herself, “which taught me to always be protected and careful,” DeRosier said. “Three or four times, the dermatologist found pre-cancerous (spots), and then one time I went in and he got very serious and told me I had cancer on my face. The doctors did a fabulous job and it hasn’t been back.”

For her, Relay For Life mainly is about inspiring hope for the future.

“We focus on the how people can survive it. We all have our sad stories. However, we get together to raise money for the research so more people survive,” DeRosier said.

Hartland Moms raises funds in unique and often hilarious ways. For example, a number of people have come home to find their lawns covered in purple flamingos, and they had to raise funds to get them removed. A couple of years ago, they sent a purple toilet to people. At this year’s event, people will lock friends and family members in a jail until they raise money for the American Cancer Society.

DeLauder understands that “everyone is busy,” but she thinks it is important for people to support Relay For Life events however they can.

“Even walking on the track for an hour and throwing in your change” helps teams to reach their fundraising goals, she said. “To use myself as an example, I got too busy for Relay. Then when I was diagnosed with cancer, I had to make time for it, and that’s why I came back,” she said.

As of Thursday, 18 teams and 111 participants have raised more than $23,000 for American Cancer Society research and outreach programs.

Keep track of how Hartland Moms and other Hartland Relay For Life teams are doing with their fundraising efforts at www.RelayForLife.org/HartlandMI.

Contact Livingston Daily county and townships reporter Jennifer Eberbach at 517-548-7148 or at jeberbach@livingstondaily.com. Follow her on Twitter @JenTheWriter.

 

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