Decatur Correctional Center Holds Unique Cancer Fundraiser Behind Prison Walls

In 2005, the Decatur Correctional Center became the first correctional facility in the nation to host a Relay for Life event.  Relay for Life events are cancer fundraising events, hosted by the American Cancer Society, that raise money for research.

Thursday evening at the center, 300 incarcerated women relayed for life.  

"My heart is overjoyed every time I'm here,” said one Relay for Life volunteer.  “Obviously, I'm getting emotional, but it's amazing to see these ladies give up their money.  I mean they're giving up snacks, shampoo, stuff that comes out of there commissary money and they're donating it to the American Cancer Society because cancer takes from so many."

Relay for Life is usually an outdoor marathon, but this version is different.  Each woman purchases supplies to craft a small piece of artwork dedicated to a loved one effected by cancer.  The pieces line the hallways of the correctional center, where they walk and admire the messages on each one.

"I decided to buy a bag just to let cancer know that, you know, we are out here fighting against it," said inmate, Angela McClMcClellan.ight these women are determined to win.

"There will be a point when it's not a death sentence for anyone on any kind," said Johnson.

The women raised a total of $900 for the American Cancer Society.  Over the past 9 years, 2,200 women at this facility have collectively donated $6,700 to the American Cancer Society.

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