05/02/07 — Children will walk to battle cancer

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Children will walk to battle cancer

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on May 2, 2007 1:59 PM

Adults won't be the only ones walking to raise money and awareness to fight cancer at this year's Relay for Life May 18-19.

Children will have a chance to do some walking of their own -- in an event all their own.

Although children have been participating in the Relay since it began, they had never had their own mini-Relay until last year.

Chairman Dawn Potter said that more than 300 children from birth through fifth grade participated in last year's Kidswalk.

Among them were not just children, relatives or friends of adult cancer patients.

Some had fought battles of their own, Mrs. Potter said.

"Sometimes we tend to forget that cancer affects children just as it much as it does adults," she said. "We want to get the word out to the public that cancer is the chief cause of death by disease in children between the ages of 1 and 14. There were 10,000 new cases of cancer among children birth to 14 in 2005."

Mrs. Potter also said it's important to get children involved in community and civic events at a young age. "The kids in Wayne County are the future of the Wayne County Relay for Life," she said. "We want to get them excited about being there."

She said even at 5 and 6 years old, children are already raising money to fight cancer.

This year's Kidswalk will be 9 to 10:30 a.m. May 19. It will kick off with an exercise period conducted by staff from Gold's Gym.

Also featured will be face painting, sidewalk chalk art, a clown and other activities. Children will make a Relay bracelet to wear.

Balloons and Clowns is sponsoring the 2007 Kidswalk and will have special characters there to walk with the children.

Something new to the Kidswalk this year will be stuffed animal drawings every five minutes. Prices for tickets range from $1 to $2 depending on the size of the stuffed animal

The Kidswalk is free.

To register for Kidswalk, go online to www.waynecountyschools.org. To order a T-shirt, the registration form must be turned in by Thursday.

Mrs. Potter said the 2006 Kidswalk was very successful. "I saw so many big grins on the faces of those children. And when that ribbon was cut to start Kidswalk, they took off like they were in a marathon. It was just a huge ball of excitement."