Cancer Survivors Give Back to the Community at K8 8K

October 14, 2006 -- Posted at 7:27 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- Saturday morning the 4th annual K8 8K run/walk was held at Craighead Forest Park.   The event started rather small and has continued to grow each year.  All proceeds from the race benefit the American Cancer Society.

One of the biggest symbols of that are the cancer survivors who volunteer their time every year.

"I had breast cancer and I just passed my five year survivor mark," said Diane Holmes.

Diane Holmes and Myra Davis are both cancer survivors.  They are at the race every year doing what they can to help at the K8 8K.

"We are a support group that is made up of women who have gone through cancer so we believe in coming out here and supporting the American Cancer Society," said Holmes.

Every year cancer survivors come out to the K8 8K while some take part in the race, others volunteer their time as a way to give back a little of what was given to them.

"When we were going through our treatments, we had a lot of people who came out of the woodwork and helped us.   A lot of people just gave, so this gives us a way of giving back," said Holmes.

"To help the people that helped me.  People helped me when I first came down with cancer and I feel it is something I can do to give back," said Myra Davis.

"I never had to have any help from the American Cancer Society.  My brother died of cancer two weeks before I had to have surgery and they paid for house payments and helped pay for gas to get him to Memphis for treatments.  That's why I help the American Cancer Society," said Davis.

These women don't think everyone who participates in the K8 8K realizes how they're helping.

"I think that they realize it's a way to give back and help others, but the biggest thing is how appreciative the walkers and the runners are.  They really appreciate us being out here," said Holmes.

An appreciation that is apparent.

"People were saying 'Thank you for volunteering, thank you for just being here, thank you for cheering...'  It was really rewarding to be here and hearing that and so that made us feel good," said Holmes.

These volunteers worked at the very last mile marker, encouraging the runners and the walkers on to the finish line.

"We manned the water station and gave water to all those hot runners on the last leg of the race," said Holmes.

These volunteers encourage the runners to win the race just like they have been encouraged since being diagnosed with cancer.