Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

In Largo, memories fuel cancer fight at Relay for Life

As Largo's police chief, Lester Aradi plays the role of tough guy every day. When it comes to his loved ones, however, he's as vulnerable as the next guy.

On Friday night, as part of the opening ceremonies for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Largo, Aradi shared some of his personal experiences with the disease. His first wife died from breast cancer in 1999. He watched his father suffer a 10-year battle with throat cancer. Eighteen years ago, he helped his daughter, Jennifer Aradi, now 36, in her fight against melanoma.

"My story, although personal, is just a drop in the bucket,'' said Aradi, 58. "You know, everyone participating in the event had a story to tell, and when it comes to cancer, who doesn't feel vulnerable?''

Although the final numbers are not in, Relay for Life of Largo organizers believe more than $32,000 was raised. The funds will enable the American Cancer Society to support local services and resources for cancer patients and their families, as well as help support cancer research and education programs.

Two hundred individuals on 18 teams stayed at Central Park for the overnight event. Another 1,000 visitors came to the park to take part in different activities, including the Survivors Lap, in which cancer survivors and their caregivers, marched a victory lap around the park together.

For Jonathan Evans, assistant to Largo's city manager, coordinating the Relay for Life was not just a work duty. Evans lost his father to prostate cancer in 2004.

"The highlight for me was seeing the survivors and caregivers come together for the lap,'' he said. "It was very emotional.''

Aradi believes the war against cancer is going strong. "Every little bit of money helps in this fight,'' he said. "My daughter, Jennifer, fought melanoma 18 years ago, and I'm so proud to say that just yesterday, she finished the Boston Marathon.''

In Largo, memories fuel cancer fight at Relay for Life 04/20/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 8:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Superintendent will ask Pasco School Board to convert Ridgewood High to magnet

    K12

    LAND O'LAKES — It's all but official for Ridgewood High School.

    Superintendent Kurt Browning on Tuesday said he would formally ask the Pasco County School Board on Nov. 7 to approve transforming Ridgewood High School into a magnet technical high school for 2018-19.
  2. Police: Suspicious death in West Tampa appears to be isolated incident

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police are investigating a suspicious death in West Tampa late Tuesday night.

  3. Police: North Tampa homicide does not appear related to Seminole Heights slayings

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police are investigating a homicide in North Tampa early Wednesday morning.

  4. Florida Rep.: Trump says fallen soldier knew what he signed up for (w/video)

    National

    MIAMI — President Donald Trump told the widow of a slain soldier that he "knew what he signed up for," according to a Florida congresswoman.

  5. Wing of Channelside Bay Plaza being demolished to make way for Water Street Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — The developers of Channelside Bay Plaza originally wanted the name to include "Garrison." That would have fit, in a way, because the complex turned out to be fort-like, inwardly focused and unwelcoming.

    Demolition of the southwest wing of Channelside Bay Plaza is underway, with a big chunk of the building expected to come down today.