Chris Martin’s family hails from Jasper, Tenn., but not even distance will stop them from celebrating life and joining the fight against cancer here in Clovis.
A staff sergeant who works in air traffic control at Cannon Air Force Base, Martin is heading up the 27 Special Operations Support Squadron Relay for Life team and invited his family out to Clovis to join in the fun and camaraderie at the event on May 9.
Martin’s aunt, Laurie Rutledge, battled breast cancer and went into resmission six years ago. She recently underwent breast reconstruction surgery and Martin wanted her to be able to partake in the survivor’s benefit dinner and see how much he and his teammates have done for the cause.
The family is making a trip of it, and Martin’s mother, grandmother, brother, aunt and a family friend will make the trek to Clovis to celebrate Rutledge and her battle.
“I thought it was really cool that he called and told me that a family member who was a cancer survivor was coming from a long distance,” said Marcy Anaya, survivor and luminaria chair for Relay for Life of Curry County.
To Anaya’s knowledge, this is the first time a survivor has come to the local Relay event from such a long distance.
The 27 SOSS team is currently leading the pack for online donations with more than $2,800 raised so far.
Martin said the group has sold donuts, held car washes and passed around a toilet to “flush away cancer” and collect even more donations from people who’d rather not have a commode on their front lawn or in their office.
The team is also planning a co-ed volleyball tournament May 3 at Hillcrest Park with all proceeds benefitting Relay for Life.
What: Relay for Life Curry County
When: Opening ceremony at 6 p.m. May 9
Where: Hillcrest Park soccer fields