Relay For Life: Survivors

Christine Baze, a musician and cancer survivor, will be the guest speaker at this year’s cancer survivor dinner at the Madison County Relay For Life.

Christine Baze has opened for Sheryl Crow, completed a European tour, and recently released a new album. Music isn’t her only passion, though. As a cancer survivor, she also travels the country to increase cancer awareness and promote prevention.

Baze will tell her story and share her gift for music at 6:30 p.m. June 13 at the Madison County Relay For Life’s cancer survivors dinner. The meal and program will take place in West Jefferson High School’s auditeria.

“We’re really excited about having Christine at our Relay because she will be energetic and upbeat,” said Sue Pairan, income development coordinator for the American Cancer Society’s Ohio Division. “She’s living proof of the good that research does and how you can make a difference in others’ lives.”

Originally from upstate New York, Baze started playing classical piano at age 4 and kept it up for the next 17 years. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in marriage and family science.

She dropped out of a PhD. program to concentrate on her music career. She played with others and eventually formed her own band.

In 2000, Baze put her music career on hold when she learned she had invasive cervical cancer. She was 31. Following treatments, she started a non-profit organization called The Yellow Umbrella to raise awareness to prevent cervical cancer. She has toured the country to spread her message through her music; she has made 89 stops and notched 100 speaking engagements.

In addition to speaking and performing at the Madison County Relay For Life’s survivors dinner, Baze will stay for the luminary ceremony, which is set for 9:30 p.m.

GlaxoSmithKline is sponsoring Baze’s visit to Madison County. The health care company is underwriting similar appearances around the country and had one opening for Ohio. Madison County was chosen because 400 people attend the survivors dinner, the Relay is the 17th largest in the state, and the Relay is one of only three sites in Ohio where individuals can participate in an ongoing cancer research study this year.

Cancer survivors who wish to attend the June 13 Relay For Life survivors dinner may sign up by calling Debbie Chaffins at 614-879-7567. Each survivor may bring one guest; the meal is free. Each participant also will receive a free survivor t-shirt.

Registration and t-shirt pick-up will take place at 5 p.m. at the high school track. Survivors are invited to lead the Relay’s first lap at 6 p.m. Golf carts will be available for those who need assistance getting around the track. The dinner will start at 6:30 in the air-conditioned auditeria. Survivors also are invited to attend the luminary ceremony at 9:30 p.m. and walk in the final lap of the Relay at 11 a.m. June 14.

Caregiver Award

The spotlight also will shine on caregivers this weekend. An award is set aside for one person who represents all people who support cancer patients through their struggles and triumphs.

Nominations are open to all types of caregivers, from spouses to nurses and doctors to family members, neighbors and pastors.

This year’s winner will be announced at the survivors dinner.

General inquiries

Any survivor or caregiver with questions about the American Cancer Society or Relay For Life can contact Debbie Chaffins or send mail to P.O. Box 411, West Jefferson, Ohio 43162.

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