With temperatures and humidity both decreased from recent days, the weather cooperated Saturday for the annual Hamden/North Haven Relay for Life at Hamden High School.
Hamden and North Haven's version of the American Cancer Society's largest fundraiser kicked off at 9 a.m. Saturday on the Hamden High School football field and by noon crowds of people were both on the track and in the booths that line the perimeter of the field.
Cancer is a disease that has affected everyone in one way or another, said Maria Laghard, whose mother and aunt both died of breast cancer. She was there to honor them, she said.
"Cancer is a terrible disease. It's terrible for the person going through it and for the family that has to watch," she said. "My mother was so brave but I know it was torture for her, especially at the end when she knew she was going to die and leave us here."
Her son Ethan was only six months old when her mother died, Laghard said, and knowing she wouldn't see him grow up ate away at her mother.
"That was the hardest part -- knowing she wouldn't see him go to school, graduate, get married," she said. "They just have to get this thing under control."
That's the goal of the relay -- to raise funds for research to find a cure. Teams form to raise money for the American Cancer Society and are required to have one person walking the track at all times during the 24-hour period. The teams set up tents and camp out for the night as well.
Tonight at 9:30 p.m. will be the Luminaria ceremony, when luminaries are lit and set out along the track to honor those who have lost their lives to cancer.
The closing ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
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