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June 21, 2023  |  News Category: Cancer Center News, Hospital News, COVID-19


callahan lopez relay for life social


LAURINBURG - The Relay For Life of Scotland County held its second meeting of the year on Tuesday evening at First United Methodist Church in Laurinburg, bringing together representatives from seven of the 13 teams currently registered for this year’s event. Among the attendees were team members from Scotland Health Care System, Fletcher Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Academy Animal Hospital, Scotland High Beta Club, Lowe’s of Laurinburg, Campbell Soup of Maxton, and Scotland Regional Hospice, last year's leading fundraising team. The meeting also saw the presence of individual fundraisers and Relay For Life committee members.

The annual event aims to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and treatment with all funds raised benefitting The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) efforts in that cause.  

Mary Callahan-Lopez, Oncology Social Worker with the Scotland Cancer Treatment Center, addressed the group and highlighted the impact of the pandemic on society's motivation to keep physician appointments and undergo recommended screenings. She also emphasized the importance of early detection.

“Early diagnosis is really essential to having the best possible clinical outcomes,” shared Callahan-Lopez.  “During the pandemic, people did not want to go to the doctor.  They missed appointments and recommended screenings.  The National Cancer Institute estimates a nearly 1% increase in deaths from breast and colorectal cancer over the next ten years.  That’s around 10,000 additional deaths due to late diagnosis because of the pandemic.”

Callahan-Lopez urged everyone to participate in recommended screenings to ensure early diagnosis and better clinical outcomes.  She provided guidelines for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer screenings, emphasizing the importance of regular screening for those at average or high risk.  You can access the complete list and specifics of those of guidelines on the American Cancer Society's website by clicking here.

Carol Thomas, Relay co-chair, also discussed fundraising strategies and ideas for the upcoming event. She challenged team representatives to put some fundraising ideas and goals in writing and educated the group on tools provided by the ACS to help make fundraising a little easier.

The Relay For Life of Scotland County is a community-driven event that brings together cancer survivors, caregivers, and supporters to celebrate life and raise funds for cancer research and treatment. The event features a survivor lap, a luminaria ceremony, and other activities to honor those who have battled cancer.  This year’s Scotland County Relay For Life will take place on October 6 at Pate Stadium in Laurinburg.

The meeting ended with a call to action for all attendees to spread the word about the event and encourage their friends and family to participate by joining a team or creating a team of their own. The Relay For Life of Scotland County is a powerful way to make a difference in the fight against cancer, and the community is encouraged to come together to support this important cause.

The next Relay For Life of Scotland County meeting is set for July 18 at 5:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Laurinburg.  Any teams or individuals interested in participating are invited to stop by, enjoy refreshments and hear about this year’s fight against cancer.  For more information on Relay for Life of Scotland County or to donate, contact Stewart or Carol Thomas at 910-280-3308 or go to To learn more about Relay For Life, visit