FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Nearly 600 participants made strides in the fight against cancer during the weekend at Gillette Stadium as the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation donated use of the facility for the Relay For Life of Greater Foxborough.
Relay team members paced around the Gillette Stadium track around the playing field from 6:30 p.m. on Friday until 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Step by step and lap by lap, they walked through the night, helping to raise over $160,000 for the American Cancer Society.
The event kicked off when around 100 cancer survivors led the Relay's first lap. They were later treated to a complimentary dinner reception in the Fidelity Investments Clubhouse.
As day faded and night descended, 3,000 luminaria candles were lit, lighting the path for walkers while honoring survivors and those who lost their battle with the disease.
Participants continued walking through the night and through daybreak. However, they received some words of inspiration on their way as former Patriots offensive lineman and cancer survivor Joe Andruzzi addressed the crowd. Andruzzi, a member of all three Patriots Super Bowl teams, spoke about the importance of supporting those affected by the disease through fundraisers, like the Relay For Life, and the impact it has on the treatment process.
"As time wears on, it becomes more and more personal," said Fran Hession, who is chairwoman of the Greater Foxboro event along with Pattie Street. "It feels like your family grows a little every year as you see new faces of those who are survivors, or those who are diagnosed. You share a common bond with all of them that is very strong. You want to be there to support them."