I have got my walking shoes ready for the annual Newton-McDonald County Relay For Life, slated for today with Tent City opening at 5 p.m. and concluding at 11 p.m. today, at the Neosho High School's practice field near the football stadium.

I have got my walking shoes ready for the annual Newton-McDonald County Relay For Life, slated for today with Tent City opening at 5 p.m. and concluding at 11 p.m. today, at the Neosho High School's practice field near the football stadium.
Not only will I be walking, but also I will be covering the event for the Daily News.
Relay For Life is one of those stories that touches my heart. I personally have not heard those words, “you have cancer,” but in my lifetime, I have had friends and family members who have.
The youngest was when I was in the fifth grade at Triway Elementary School, Stella.
A girl by the name of Shelly Brown – who was a grade higher than me – passed away from cancer. Later on, all of the students at Triway School assembled outside to plant a tree in her memory. I believe that that tree is still down there at the school.
The second person was someone close to me, it was my Uncle Gary Higdon.
He passed away from lung cancer back in 1986. Gary, who was very tall, more than 6 feet 3 inches, would hold my brother and I upside down by our legs. I guess that it is the little things in life that you remember. I also remember going to see Dad at the Bank of Neosho (now CBT) and Gary would be either at his desk downstairs by my grandfather or upstairs in the break room, coffee in one hand and talking about banking business.
I still remember Gary and Shelly.
Even thought they passed away from cancer, there are others that I have known since then that have survived cancer. Some have survived for 25 years and some – who were diagnosed recently, are now in remission.
Over the years, the American Cancer Society and people like you and I have made a difference by fighting cancer. On the general public’s hand, we raise money through Relay For Life events and that money goes to help find a cure, a way that no one will have to hear those words, “you have cancer.”
As you are reading this column, I would like to direct your attention to a preview story about this year’s Relay - which appeared in Tuesday's edition. Our goal this year is to raise $50,000. I know that we can all help make a difference and raise money to battle cancer.
I encourage everyone to attend the Newton County Relay For Life today.


Todd G. Higdon is the managing editor and writes a weekly column. He can be reached at thigdon@ neoshodailynews.com.