A night of hope in the fight against cancer in New York’s North Country returned Friday night from a one-year pandemic break. It raised nearly $150,000 in the process.
Entering the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Plattsburgh, a recent story on Local 22 & Local 44 News led to several questions about one particular relay team. The relay afforded an opportunity to check in with the team once again at the Clinton County Fairgrounds in Morrisonville.
Jocelyn Ducharme was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer when she was just 17 months old. She’s now three. Jocelyn and her parents live in Utah, but both of her parents are originally from the Plattsburgh area.
“Jocelyn just had treatment today in Utah, so that’s where she is; she had to stay home,” Jocelyn’s mother, Katelynn Ducharme, said. “She spent a few days in the hospital this past week. She wasn’t really doing too well, but we did get an MRI scan and things are actually starting to look a little bit better.”
Earlier this month, her family’s Team Jocelyn was pushing to become the most prolific fundraising team in the country in the American Cancer Society’s Gold Together program. Gold Together is dedicated specifically to fighting childhood cancers.
“Maybe a week after we last spoke, we actually hit the number-one spot in the nation for the Gold Together teams,” Katelynn said. “We’re sitting at about $62,000, and we’re number one and holding it, so it’s great.”
A line dancing performance by the dance group Stomping For A Cause didn’t offer the only reason to cut a rug. The relay was a chance for many of the participants to see one another in person for the first time in two years.
“It’s been amazing,” American Cancer Society Northeast Region senior development manager Joan Sterling said. “We had a wonderful group of survivors; we had a lot of people here. It’s been hot, but people were ready to get out. We had a really good day. I’m super-happy; everything’s been wonderful.”
The wonderful happenings extended to the relay’s fundraising effort.
“I just looked — we are over $141,000; $142,000 — on a $60,000 goal, so we are really doing well,” Sterling said. “We have a wonderful community here; we have a lot of sponsors, a lot of volunteers, a lot of help — it’s been just wonderful, so, thank you!”
Sterling believes that the Plattsburgh relay will have reached the $150,000 mark by the time all of the inbound donations are counted.