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Relay for Life is full of stories

Cancer survivors walk the first lap at last year's Relay for Life.

Connie Honrud knows what it’s like to learn you have cancer. She was diagnosed 29 years ago with breast cancer. Her husband recently went through a battle with bladder cancer. She’s been through the uncertainty, the fear and, ultimately, the hope.

Honrud has stories from her battle with cancer, and on July 25 she will be surrounded by people with stories of their own. Some will be happy like hers. Others will not. But for 12 hours, the people and their stories will come together to fight the disease they all have in common.

Those stories are part of the reason Honrud keeps coming back to Farmington’s Relay for Life, an all-night walking marathon that raises money for the American Cancer Society. Honrud has been the event’s chair for several years.

“(I like) listening to the stories people tell and just watching how many people walk in the survivor lap,” Honrud said. “Honoring not only the survivors but the caregivers that have taken care of these people through their ordeals.”

This year’s Farmington Relay for Life will kick off with a dinner for cancer survivors at 5 p.m. The walk’s opening ceremony will begin at 6 with recognition of a survivor and a caregiver. Then, after an opening lap just for the survivors, at least 17 teams of walkers will circle the track at Boeckman Middle School, individually or in groups, for the next 12 hours.

For an event focused on a deadly disease, there is a lot of life in the relay. There will be a DJ playing music and games for adults and kids alike. There will be face painting.

“We have things there for all ages,” Honrud said. “It’s a family affair.”

There will be a ceremony at 9:15 to light white paper luminaria in honor of people currently battling cancer or in memory of those who have lost the fight.

“That is absolutely beautiful,” Honrud said.

As of late last week Farmington’s Relay for Life had raised close to $25,000. Honrud hopes to raise at least $40,000.

Anyone interested in participating in the walk can find more information at

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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