An event dedicated to fighting cancer in all forms gets underway this weekend at the Howell High School Freshman campus and the public is encouraged to attend.

The theme for Livingston County’s Relay for Life is Hollywood and each team has elected to represent a movie this year. An opening ceremony kicks off the event at 6pm Friday by celebrating everyone who has been affected by cancer. Speakers from St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital will be featured at the opening ceremony, which will be followed by a Survivors Lap. Officials say survivors define courage and inspire those facing a cancer diagnosis and their strength is honored with each step they take around the first lap. A vendor show Friday and Saturday will feature more than 60 vendors.

Relay For Life Community Development Manager Lauren Wagner says The Cancer Action Network, the American Cancer Society’s advocacy affiliate, will also be on site to talk about the oral chemo parody fight. Wagner says Livingston County will play a really critical role this year in whether Michigan insurance companies will cover oral chemo therapy the same as IV chemo therapy, which she says is really important for the lives of many cancer survivors in the state.

The final event Friday at 9pm will be the Luminaria Ceremony, which is pictured. Each Luminaria bag represents a loved one lost to cancer, brings support to those affected by it, and honors survivors. It’s a powerful moment that gives people the opportunity to grieve but also offers hope and comfort. Relay for Life will continue Saturday with a Caregivers Lap at 10am. Caring for others is a selfless act and Wagner says the lap is a special moment to honor caregivers because there are so many.

A Closing Ceremony at 5pm will celebrate everything accomplished together and remember lives lost, while committing to take action and help end the pain and suffering of cancer.

Complete details about Relay for Life are available through the link provided. (JM)