Relay for Life had supporters running through the night in Mount Pleasant

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- The American Cancer Society's 29th annual Relay For Life kicked off Friday night at the Park West Recreation Complex in Mount Pleasant.

Participants ran, jogged, or walked until Saturday morning. As they walked, music, including Kool and the Gang's "Celebration," blasted around the sports complex.

"This is the right song they are playing, right?" asked Connie Mason as she walked around the track.

She truly understand the celebration of life because 12 years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her journey continued Friday night at the Relay For Life, where she is cancer-free.

"I feel I have an obligation to all of those people that were not as fortunate as I was. I want to live for them, too," Mason said.

Luminaries lined the track, each one representing a life lost to cancer. Passing by them, hundreds of people walked or ran and also remember. They came for loved ones. .

"Debra is a very faithful person, and her faith shows and her strength shows every time we see her. I guess the most encouraging word I could offer is to be strong, to know that we as a team and others are just surrounding her with love during this very difficult time. And we are always here for her," said Vaudrien Ray.

All the money raised during the relay will go to cancer research.

Only those who have battled cancer know what it's like to walk a mile in Mason's shoes. On Friday night, she walked for those who are still battling cancer with a simple message.

"Hope is what you need to hang on to; endurance produces hope, so all I can say is endure because hope is what you need to endure this," said Mason.

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