Relay for Life a special event for a family

Posted at 11:41 PM, Apr 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-24 05:23:38-04

Bakersfield's relay for life is one of the most special weekends here at the Kern County Fairgrounds, but for one family this gathering now is even more special. 

Today's events serve as a way to celebrate and remember those who survived, those who lost and those still fighting.

For Karren Blanton attending relay for life has never been something she has had to think about.

“I come out here every year; I'm a 21-year survivor this year. So I'm just thankful and grateful I'm here every year,” said Blanton.

But this year Blanton is able to celebrate more than one battle that was won.

Just last week her mother Barbara Barnes received the news that she had officially won her battle with cancer.

“I just finished my chemo on the 23 of March and I had to wait a few weeks and do a PET scan to find out the results and she said I was OK for right now and we'll just do follow ups every three months,” said Barnes.

For Karren today is always special, saying it serves as a day of reflection.

Allowing her to remember her fight along with the hundreds of others just like her.

“You reflect back on what you went through, what your family went through at the time and then just things that happened to other people that you know,” said Blanton.

But a part of the night the family enjoys and cherishes most is searching for their luminarias, saying that these are not just bags.

“It's a life; it's a lot of love. A lot of memories with the ones that didn't make it that have already gone and memories to make with those I still have,” said Barnes.

This year’s relay had almost 200 teams attend and has been nothing but another huge success and just being able to be there and hear the stories from every fighter, supporter and survivor was the most special part of the celebration.