Peoria's walk to end cancer

By Audrey Wise

June 21, 2013 Updated Dec 21, 2013 at 7:20 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- About 150 people will be walking the track Friday night at the Peoria Stadium to help fight cancer.

Peoria's Relay for Life started out at 6:00 Friday evening with a survivor's walk.

The lap was emotional for many spectators, but cancer survivor Dorothy Ewald feels a different kind of emotion.

"I just feel really good to be out there and feel so good and be able to participate," said Ewald.

Ewald said she participated in the Relay before her cancer diagnosis and now attending the event brings a whole new meaning when she sees someone else in the survivors' purple shirt.

"You just know you can talk to them about what you've been through and you know they understand what you are talking about. You make an instant friend," she said.

Ewald's daughter started a team in her honor. This year they raised about $2,500. Part of the money came in an interesting way--a purple toilet fundraiser!

"They passed it around people's yards and you had to pay to have it removed," said Ewald. "It passed around to seven different cities and I think she said 400 miles."

In total the Peoria event raised about $40,000, in combination with relays at Bradley University and Dunlap.

Mallory Audo with the American Cancer Society said all the money raised goes toward research and local efforts.

"Money that goes toward Relay for Life helps fund programs in our community such as free wig fittings and we help give rides to cancer patients who don't have somebody to give them a ride. It's just really nice to provide things like that to people going through such a difficult time," said Audo.

Participants will walk the track until 8:00 a.m. Saturday, with the hope that one day the walk will end and a cure will be found.

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