Earlier this year, Lisa Nino went from cancer survivor to caregiver.

The Hermiston woman — one of this year’s Hermiston Relay for Life grand marshals — was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1992. Cancer-free for 22 years, Nino has helped her husband, Amado, walk through a diagnosis of colon cancer since January.

Nino has been involved with Relay for Life for about nine years. She said the American Cancer Society fundraiser is about raising money in an effort to eradicate the disease.

“You hope to be part of a cure some day, so that people won’t have to endure cancer,” she said. “That’s why I continue the fight.”

Hermiston Relay for Life kicks off Friday at a new venue. The event will begin with registration of survivors at 4 p.m. in the commons at Armand Larive Middle School, 1497 S.W. Ninth St., Hermiston. The opening ceremonies are at 6 p.m., and the Survivor/Caregiver Dinner is from 7-8:30 p.m.

The Relay for Life silent auction runs from 5-8 p.m. Featuring hundreds of items, it will be housed in the school’s practice gym. Team fundraisers and special laps will continue throughout the night and into the morning. In addition, the special luminary ceremony is planned for 10 p.m. The Fight Back lap and closing ceremonies begin Saturday at 9 a.m.

Nino encourages people to have regular physical check-ups. Although she wasn’t experiencing any symptoms, her cancer was diagnosed during a routine pap smear.

In addition, Nino encourages people to contact the American Cancer Society. They provide many resources and services for patients and their families.

“If you’re diagnosed with cancer, don’t give in,” Nino said. “You want to make sure the problem gets handled as soon as possible and start treatment as soon as you can.”

For more information about Hermiston Relay for Life, contact Kelly Wright at 541-377-2035, kellyrelay6@gmail.com, Paula Messenger at 541-720-1405 or go to www.facebook.com/HermistonRelayForLife. Also, people can make donations or register at www.relayforlife.org.

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Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539.

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