The 25th annual Relay for Life event is 1-10 p.m. April 28 at Lansing Middle School, 220 Lion Lane. 

The event includes a survivor dinner at 1 p.m. for cancer survivors, a survivor walk, an inflatable play area, martial arts demonstrations, vendors and food. 

There is also a raffle in which attendees have a chance to win Kansas City Royals tickets, Kansas City T-Bones tickets and area gift cards. There will also be a Pie a Politician in the face event.

Currently, there are 31 teams representing 210 participants registered for the event. Thus far, more than $45,000 has been raised and all proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society, said Relay for Life of Leavenworth County Co-chair Katherine de la Cruz.

Cruz has survived cancer three times after being diagnosed with skin cancer as a teen, uterine cancer at the age of 21 and then chronic chemo-induced leukemia, which developed from the aggressive chemotherapy to treat the uterine cancer. 

“I got involved with Relay (for Life) pretty passionately when I was set up for a bone marrow operation and was told that it probably wouldn’t be successful and I may not have much longer to live,” she said.

However, the American Cancer Society introduced Cruz to a trial drug called Gleevec that saved her life.

“That’s when I decided to put all my efforts into fundraising and giving back,” she said. 

Her personal experience has made the event even more meaningful for her.

“It just the community involvement and not feeling like you’re alone in the journey whether you’re just diagnosed or five and 10 years out. There’s always a part of your life that probably a lot of other people could never understand or experience. So, it’s nice being around people that kind of know your journey,” she said. “I just keep saying it’s a survivor party and it’s a chance to just celebrate being here.”

For more information, to register or donate, visit relayforlife.org/leavenworthcoks