By Mary Ann Inman


CLINTON – Want a reality check? Take a few minutes to listen to Frank Crivello, Gavin North, and Jakob Nielson talk about how cancer changed their lives.

The three cancer survivors share a common bond. Each relies heavily on support from their family, friends and the Clinton community.

Crivello teaches social studies at Clinton High School. North is a CHS graduate who was a freshman in college when he was diagnosed. Nielson is in second grade at the CES, elementary school.

Gavin, 21, talked about the fight and the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. Survival is about physical and mental well-being.

He noted he is often asked by others how they can help. Community support, blood transfusions and donations are all ways for people to “give back”.

Jacob, 7, reported he needs another 2 ½ years of treatments and being in a hospital room is really boring. Because of cancer he missed much of second grade. But reported it is not all bad. He has had opportunities to visit the Ronald McDonald House and has gone on trips to Little America every year.

Frank encouraged others faced with cancer to pray and believe in themselves. At first he was reluctant to talk about it but eventually he opened up to a cancer survivor and co-worker. Support is essential. When Mr. Crivello received a T-shirt from two students it was especially meaningful and just one example of ongoing community support. Nurses, friends, and his wife Nancy have kept him going.

The annual fundraising event was held Friday, Aug. 7 from 6 p.m. to midnight. The relay began with an opening ceremony followed by a first lap by survivors.

Caregivers joined them for the second lap then other community supporters joined them, united in solidarity. The crowd shared laps and walked continuously for six hours.

Thematic events, concessions, silent auctions, and luminaries were scheduled to celebrate, remember, and fight back. Superheroes in the Fight against Cancer included thematic laps, clown performances, three legged race, frozen T-shirt contest, and poker hands.

The final lap for some ended at midnight for some. Others have many more laps ahead, prayers.Relay II