Survivors gather for breakfast

While the Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society's signature fundraising event, Lebanon added a breakfast extension to their efforts on Saturday.
Jun 8, 2009


While the Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society's signature fundraising event, Lebanon added a breakfast extension to their efforts on Saturday.
"It's the first time for this Survivors' Breakfast," said Vicki Gordon, chairman of Relay For Life in its 15th year in Lebanon and Wilson County. "We had been wanting to do something and finally decided to get our feet wet by trying the breakfast.
"We invited all our cancer survivors along with their caregivers to join us.The event will become an annual thing and is open to anyone who wants to join us. We had 90-plus reservations for this first time and I think that's pretty good."
Held at Imanuel Baptist Church in Lebanon, the attendees began arriving for the buffet meal at 9 a.m. They entered a brightly lit room filled with tables topped with potted flower centerpieces. They immediately began greeting one another.
"I love to see the patients get together and visit like this," said Vicki. "They laugh, they cry and give so much to each other."
The blessing was given and two lines formed, one on each side of the buffet table.The guests dug into trays of fresh fruit, including a watermelon with "Relay For Life" carved in it, donut holes of all flavors, mini muffins, scrambled eggs, sausage, bisquits and gravy, potato casserole, spinach quiche, orange and apple juice and coffee, mostly decaf. Travis Johnson planned the menu and catered the food.
On hand for the event was Laci Tullock, staff person from the Nashville office, who was handing out purple shirts to the cancer survivors and teal blue ones to their caregivers. This marks the 25th year since the formation of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life and the 15th for Wilson County.
Tanya Wilson, a Wilson County resident and breast cancer survivor, was the guest speaker. Wilson found out she was pregnant and had breast cancer all within one week. She told her story of how advances in cancer treatment, thanks in large part to the American Cancer Society, allowed her to receive treatment for her cancer, while carrying her daughter to full-term without any birth defects. Her daughter is now 8.
Vicki announced Debbie Hobbs Little would be hosting the breakfast event next year, saying it may be a picnic or a luncheon, but it will be a meal function.
Dave Gordon commented, "It's not about one individual, it's about finding a cure. We're getting closer. One researcher from Vanderbilt was telling us the other day, one chemical they were working with on one cancer wasn't working there, but showed great reaction on another form of cancer."
All the money raised through the Relay For Life projects go to cancer research.
The Relay For Life walk will be June 26-27 at Castle Heights track.
"We walk all night. The money will have already been raised by that time, so it will be time for celebration," said Vicki. "You look around and see so many people involved, businesses, organizations and individuals. Lebanon has always been a community that supports us in so many ways.
"It gives so much and we couldn't make it if it weren't for those supporters."
Rochelle, McCulloch and Aulds sponsored the breakfast.
For more photos of the event, go to Spotted at


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