ACS celebrating more birthdays

Published 5:13 pm Monday, February 4, 2013

American Cancer Society Hero of Hope Amy Kuhn encourages community residents to help save lives and create more birthdays by participating in Relay for Life.

By MOLLIE BROWN/Community Columnist

At the age of 16, Amy Kuhn was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Today, she’s a 10-year cancer survivor and advocate for the American Cancer Society.

Kuhn was recently named a “Hero for Hope” by the American Cancer Society and spoke to volunteers at the West Shelby Relay for Life Kick Off Chili Dinner on Jan. 15.

The American Cancer Society has given Kuhn more birthdays to celebrate.

“Ten years prior to my diagnosis, there wasn’t a cure for Burkitt’s Lymphoma,” Kuhn said. “Money raised through Relay for Life helped find a treatment for this cancer. If we all get on board and raise money, I feel one day there will be a chemo regiment for every type of cancer.”

Paula Johnson, American Cancer Society Community Representative for Shelby and Chilton counties, said this year’s event will be held May 3 and 4 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. “The event will be held at Oliver Park this year,” Johnson said. “We have many opportunities for participants to fulfill this year’s theme — Dream Big! Hope Big! Relay Big! In addition to teams raising money, individuals can purchase a luminaria for $5 or sky lantern for $25 in honor or memory of someone whose life has been touched by cancer.”

Relay for Life, a family-oriented community gathering, brings people together to raise money and awareness for cancer prevention. Teams of people sponsored by family, friends and co-workers will camp out Friday night at Oliver Park and take turns walking around the track because cancer never sleeps. Cancer survivors will be present as honorary guests in the opening event, Survivors Lap Challenge. When the sun sets, hundreds of luminarias and sky lanterns will light up Oliver Park to symbolize hope and perseverance in the fight against cancer. If you would like to form a team or volunteer, you’re invited to meetings to be held at the Calera Library at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19, March 26 and April 16. If you can’t attend or want to purchase luminarias or lanterns in honor or memory of loved ones, contact Johnson at 205-918-3212 or visit

Mollie Brown is a business columnist for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at