20th annual Relay For Life of Fairfield honors local educator

Each year the Relay For life honors a local survivor from Fairfield as the event’s Honorary Chair.

This year the Relay For Life will be honoring local educator, Carole Frawley.

A native of New Britain, graduate of Western Connecticut State University and mother of one, Frawley came to Fairfield 33 years ago to become the choral teacher at Fairfield Woods Middle School. She also runs the Fairfield Recreation Department’s Fairfield Teen Theatre where she works with 80-100 students in putting on four shows a year.

In August, 2014 Frawley woke with a stabbing pain in her right shoulder. She had not been feeling well for a few months prior and thought it be best for her son to bring her to Bridgeport Hospital Emergency Room. She soon learned that her spleen was enlarged and was diagnosed with Stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s Follicular Lymphoma.

“The good news was that it was slow growing, very common, and very treatable,” said Frawley. “I was lucky that I only had to get six treatments every three weeks, as opposed to lengthy chemotherapy. I did not miss school except on the days I received treatment.”

Looking back, Frawley credits positive thinking and preparation for getting her through her experience. Her advice for the newly diagnosed is to lean on your oncology group and in her case, that was the team at the Cancer Center at St. Vincent’s.

Frawley will join other cancer survivors, caregivers, volunteers, and community members at the Relay For Life of Fairfield this Saturday, June 10, from 6 p.m. to midnight at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. The event is celebrating its 20th year in Fairfield. Opening ceremony is set to begin at 6 p.m. and will include a Fight Back Ceremony featuring Master Song Tae Kwon Do at 7:35 p.m. The evening will be highlighted by the luminaria ceremony at 9 p.m. in which luminaria bags will circle the track and participants will take the time to remember and honor love ones lost to the disease. Close Harmony, from Fairfield Ludlowe High, will perform. The night will end with a closing ceremony at 11:30 p.m.

Registered participants and teams are welcome to arrive to set up their campsites at 3 p.m. In addition to the ceremonies mentioned participants can expect to be entertained by Treblemakers, Fairfield Woods Singers, the Warde High School Rolling Stones Group, and (Fairfield) Warde MUSE. Relayers will also have the opportunity to participate in a “Mr. Relay Pageant,” a lip-sync competition, and a Zumba session led by Lindsay Morrell. Participants will also have the chance to donate their hair toward the making of wigs for cancer patients. Participants interested in signing up for the “Mr. Relay Pageant” and for haircutting may do so by contacting Lindsey Hanley at [email protected]

Last year, over 1,200 people participated in the Relay For Life of Fairfield and raised over $192,000.

“Relay For Life is a celebration of life and the great progress that has been made against this terrible disease,” said Danielle Schwartz, co-event lead along with Bruna Cayo and Joe Barbetta. “We’re excited to be celebrating our 20th year, which is a tribute to our community, our Team Captains and participants, our sponsors and donors, and most importantly our Survivors and their Caregivers.”

For more information visit relayforlife.org/fairfieldct or contact Lindsey Hanley at 203-563-1514 or [email protected]

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