TEAM PMC: Pikeville Medical Center’s Relay For Life Team, above, poses for a group picture during the event held on June 9 at Bob Amos Park. Below is a special luminaria decorated by two-year-old William Anthony (Bodie) Lowe, in honor of his grandmother, Pamela Todd May, PMC chief legal counsel, who lost her fight with pancreatic cancer.
Medical Leader | STAFF PHOTOS

Hundreds take part in Relay For Life

Amy Charles

PIKEVILLE — Bob Amos Park was packed last Friday evening as teams from across Pikeville joined the American Cancer Society (ACS) for the Pike County Relay For Life event. Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) was an event sponsor for this annual fundraiser to raise money and awareness for cancer research.


PMC’s theme this year, Why Do You Relay? We Relay For Our Patients, was highlighted with a balloon photo frame created by local magician, and PMC Quality and Process Engineer, Ricky Hamilton. Event goers throughout the evening visited PMC’s tent to have their picture made behind the colorful frame using themed photo props to show why they relay. Some were there to honor a friend, encourage a spouse or to remember a loved one who lost their fight.


“Overall, this event was very successful,” said PMC Oncology Outreach Coordinator Nell Bedwell, RN. “There was a great turnout from the hospital and from cancer survivors,” continued Bedwell. “I am very proud of PMC’s employees for donating all the food for our cookout that fed our team and the survivors.”


The Relay For Life event started at 6:00 p.m. with the opening ceremony, as teams from all over the county gathered together to celebrate the hundreds of survivors who participate. Over 50 team members from PMC carried their banner for the sponsor lap.


The survivors lap has become a very special part of the evening.


The Survivor Committee and PMC oncology nurses awarded a medal to those who have won their fight to celebrate their victory against cancer.


“You could feel the love and support for the survivors and patients as they walked their lap,” said Patty Thompson, PMC Public Relations Events Administrator. “It was an amazing event!”


The luminaria ceremony was held at twilight. Each candle in a decorated bag represents someone special. Many luminaria bags lined the track, personalized with a photo or message to remember loved ones lost to cancer or in honor of those still battling the disease.


One special luminaria was decorated by two-year-old William Anthony (Bodie) Lowe, in honor on his grandmother, Pamela Todd May, chief legal counsel at PMC and wife of President and CEO Walter E. May. She lost her fight with pancreatic cancer last month.


Awards were given out by Josh Johnson, Relay For Life Community Manager, Mid-South Division. The winners are as follows: Best Camp Site – Angel Wings; Most Money Raised (Community) – Model City; Most Money Raised (Corporate) – Community Trust Bank. A grand total of $35,000 was raised for the ACS through this event.


The ACS is the largest nongovernmental cancer research organization. For over 70 years the ACS has been funding research for cancer treatment and to find a cure. In fact, the ACS lists cancer as one of the leading causes of death in Kentucky. Money raised by events like Relay For Life help in their efforts to save lives.


Visit for more information about Relay For Life or to make a donation.