RELAY FOR LIFE: Surviving, reflecting

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One of the Pictou County Relay for Life teams features not just one but two cancer survivors who are proud to attend the event each year.

Shane Hampton and Neil MacKinnon, who the team Mac Attack is named after, both enjoy their time walking and being a part of the event that really brings the community and fellow survivors together.

The team is getting ready for its 13th year being part of the event in 2018 and is ready to go.

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MacKinnon attributed his participation in the event to what he saw as a golden opportunity as the event was beginning and he was in the midst of his battle. For MacKinnon, the cause goes past his personal fight with cancer and stretches further into his family as he shared that his father had passed away from cancer and it has affected other family members as well.

“It just happened to come up in conversation,” said Hampton about how he came about joining MacKinnon’s team. The pair worked together for a few years and it was at this time Hampton joined to take part in the event. MacKinnon hadn’t been aware at the time that Hampton was a survivor himself until Hampton contacted him and asked how to get a survivor package.

Hampton had faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was 18; he’s currently 23 years cancer-free.

“Mine took place quite a while ago,” he said. “I don’t think I really realized what I was going through.” The pair enjoys the energy and the feel and support that come with the event, both as participants and survivors.

“It’s a really rewarding event; it’s a very upbeat type of event,” MacKinnon added. “I always feel good afterwards.”

Hampton also mentioned that he finds participating in Relay a very humbling experience in that you never really know who has been or will be affected.

“Cancer knows no boundaries,” he said.”Eventually, you’re going to be affected.”

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