"I've gotten to see both of my children grow up," said cancer survivor Sarah King.
However, seventeen years ago King wasn't so sure if that would or even could happen. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in June 1991.
"Unbelief," said King of her initial reaction. "I had a daughter who was fairly young and I just worried about her. What would happen to her if it was terminal?"
King said it was a rough road to get to where she is today. After undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and five years of taking medication for what was deemed a very aggressive type of cancer, King was finally declared cancer free in 1996.
Now seventeen years after being diagnosed, King says research helped her beat the odds.
"It's not a death sentence. There's hope," said King. "Always hope, and research has done so much since I was diagnosed."
Now a retired educator, King says that in everything, including in the fight against cancer, she has learned that patience and persistence can pay off.
"It's just not a death sentence like it used to be," said King. "When you hear the word 'cancer' it just automatically seemed that. That's the end but there's always hope. There's always hope."
Lauderdale County's Relay for Life is May 9-10 at Northeast Recreation Park, off Highway 39, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Funds raised from the event go toward research to try to find a cure for cancer.
Organizers have set a $300,000 goal. WTOK is a sponsor of Relay for Life.
News director, John Johnson, will emcee the event.
For more information, call the American Cancer Society in Meridian at 601-482-0082.