AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) - They'll be walking all night in Agawam to beat cancer.
Bob Alves has been cancer free for five months. He was at the Agawam "Relay for Life" last year but was unable to walk because he'd just started the chemotherapy and radiation treatments for his head and neck cancers.
This year Bob's walking with hundreds of people raising money and support for cancer research. He told 22News, "Everything that relay stands for is one of the reasons I'm here." Alves said he might not have survived his cancers had it not been for the sort of research supported by the Relay for Life.
He said hearing his diagnosis for the first time turned out not to be the most difficult part of his journey. "That is something hard to hear. But one of the harder things, actually, is to tell the people you love that you have cancer. And they're going through it with you," Alves said.
That sentiment was echoed by cancer survivor and Agawam Relay chairwoman Janine Iacolo, who said the Relay is about much more than raising money for research and services.
"It provides support. Support for not only the survivors but their caregivers. Familty and friends who are going through it. Show that they're not alone," Iacolo told 22News.
22News co-sponsors the western Massachusetts Relays for Life. 22News ITeam reporter Ryan Walsh helped kick off Friday night's relay at Agawam high school, where Iacolo said they were already close to achieving their goal of raising 60-thousand dollars for cancer research and services.