Mark R. Madler
As a breast cancer survivor, Hilary Star is well aware of the medical
side of the battle against cancer.
In taking part in the second annual Burbank Relay for Life this
weekend, the Van Nuys resident will see another side in that fight.
It’s the side on which survivors mark recovery from diseases and
loved ones remember those whose fate was not so fortunate.
“I’m sure it will be something soulful and spiritual, where every
feeling is prevalent within oneself and the other people,” Star said.
“I thought that would be a good place to be.”
The event kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday and goes until 8 a.m.
Sunday at Robert E. Gross Park, 2800 Empire Ave. More than 40 teams
are expected to participate, more than double the number that took
part in last year’s inaugural relay in the city.
Star will walk with a team from the radiology department from
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, a major sponsor of the event.
“I went to the doctor [recently] and found out the nurses and
staff were participating,” said Star, who was diagnosed in January
2004 and has completed her treatments. “That’s when I thought about
Last year’s turnout far exceeded the expectations of the
organizing committee with more than $80,000 being raised, said Lynne
Fortner, a committee member.
“We had people on the track for the 24 hours, which is the whole
purpose of an all-night event,” Fortner said. “With the teams we have
this year, we expect the track to be busy again.”
Education is also an important component to the event, so there
will be information on early detection and what foods to eat to
reduce chances of having the disease, said Dan Linegar, another
member of the organizing committee.
“Early detection definitely helps,” said Linegar, a survivor of
esophageal cancer. “It’s not a guarantee, but you have a really good
chance to survive cancer.”
During the relay there will be several events, including the
Survivor’s Ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, and a luminaria ceremony
at 9 p.m. Saturday. The luminaria is a candlelight vigil in which
each flame represents a cancer victim. The event also features live
entertainment, and local businesses will supply food and beverages.
Balloon toss and pie-eating contests will take place as well as a
formal-wear contest at 1:30 a.m., and a pajama contest at 3:30 a.m.
WHAT: Second annual Burbank Relay for Life
WHEN: 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday
WHERE: Robert E. Gross Park, 2800 Empire Ave.
INFO: American Cancer Society, (818) 841-2994