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      The Heartland community honors cancer survivors at the Relay for Life

      Cancer survivors and families of those who lost their battle with the deadly disease packed the Kirksville Primary School Saturday for an annual movement driven by the American Cancer Society.

      Relay for Life, the national fight against cancer, is an event one Heartland woman says she wouldnâ??t miss for the world.

      Paulette Thompson, a two year cancer-free survivor, says, â??I got the call on a Friday at work from a doctor I never met because my doctor was out of town so he calls me and tells me [I have cancer]. I was numb."

      "I didn't think I would have it but it is in my family strongly so that's one of the reasons Iâ??m out here doing relay. Itâ??s because of my family,â?? said Thompson.

      Like many of those attending the Relay for Life event, Thompson says both her parents and loved ones were diagnosed with cancer. Cathy Creason, chair of the event, says stories like Thompsonsâ?? make her work worthwhile.

      â??[Iâ??ve had] friends, family, coworkers [affected]. My husband got cancer a few years ago, now he's a five year survivor. Iâ??m a caregiver, so it was natural for me to do this, I guess,â?? said Creason.

      â??Get out here because somebody you know has been affected by cancer in some way, shape or form, so get out here and raise money so we can stop this disease,â?? said Thompson.

      There was also a Luminaria ceremony held at the Relay for Life event.

      For more information on cancer, click here.