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Relay 2008

BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- Base Honor Guard and Safety Go the Extra Mile

On a beautiful Friday afternoon I was honored to watch our 104th Base Honor Guard provided our local community with a truly professional and patriotic opening to this years Greater Springfield American Cancer Society's "Relay For Life" held at Springfield College, 30May08. For those of you who want to know more about this event find additional information on the American Cancer Society's web site at www.cancer.org but basically stated the "Relay for Life" is a 24 hour event in which teams participate for a 24 hour period.

Teams of differing numbers keep at least one of their team members on the track either walking or jogging for the entire 24-hour period. We do this to help raise money for cancer research, local programs, and to foster a better community awareness to cancer prevention. It is also designed to honor those who are survivors, remember those who have fought their battles and lost, and to reaffirm our efforts to fight back against this dreaded disease.

For those of you who do not know me, my name, and story I am SMSgt Tom Dumais and am presently your Ground Safety Manager. In December of 1993 my wife Isabel was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the age of 31. To make a long story short after numerous treatments to put her in remission which did not work. She then had to undergo a Bone Marrow Transplant in which she was able to donate her own marrow cells. In December 1994 she underwent a long road to her cure and this year on December 22nd she will be officially cancer free 14-years. This is my reason to participate in Relay which I have by been involved with since 1995.

In 2004 I began taking sponsorships by the mile, and during that year, I ran 24 miles in the 24-hour period. I have been adding a mile each year to my running and this year ran 28-miles in the 24 hours. I called it my 28 in 08 and next year will be my 29 in 09.

As I said it is a proud day when we as a unit can make a presence in the community to do good for a cause that affects us all. The Base Honor performed superbly as always and hope they can continue to be part of this important community event.