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Youth cancer survivor event Saturday
Gathering part of Relay for Life
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

The American Cancer Society’s Forsyth Relay for Life committee will hold its first Youth Cancer Survivor Celebration at 11 a.m. Saturday in Stars and Strikes, 133 Merchant Square. R.S.V.P. to Suzanne Hendricks by 5 p.m. Tuesday at (770) 297-1176, Ext. 29062, or by e-mail at

Youth who have battled cancer are invited to a special event.

On Saturday, the American Cancer Society will hold its first Youth Cancer Survivor Celebration at Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center.

The event is one of several leading up to Forsyth County’s Relay for Life on May 11 at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

"We always do our survivors’ dinner, but this year we wanted to have something in addition to that to honor and involve our youth and their families," said Suzanne Hendricks, community manager for the American Cancer Society.

Hendricks said all young people in the county who have battled or are currently undergoing treatments for cancer will also serve as ambassadors at this year’s Relay for Life.

Saturday’s celebration is open to any cancer survivor 21 and younger and their families, said Deborah Phillips, local chairwoman of the event.

"Stars and Strikes has been extremely generous to us," Phillips said. "They’ll be providing food and a number of fun activities for the kids."

Besides bowling and other games at the venue, Phillips said Relay for Life volunteers will provide painting supplies to the students.

"The canvases the children paint we’ll be giving to our corporate sponsors at the end of the year," Phillips said. "We thought that would mean a lot more to them than just a plaque."

As for the parents of the young survivors, Phillips said they will have a chance to gather alone.

"We’ll provide the parents a room to sit together and chat about what’s going on with their children," she said.

Phillips said she and her husband lost one of their daughters to cancer 15 years ago, at age 10, so she can relate to what parents are going through.

"I know it really helped us to have the chance to talk to others who were going through the same things we were," she said. "It’s important to be able to share your story with others who understand."

The event is free and open to all young cancer survivors and their families, Hendricks said, but an R.S.V.P. by Tuesday is requested for planning purposes.

Phillips said she’s hoping for a large turnout.

"We’re so excited to be able to provide this opportunity for the whole family," she said. "Being in the situation with our daughter passing away from cancer, it’s so important for us to give back like others did for us."