Blount County mother leads Relay for Life team as son battles cancer

Blount County's Relay for Life is one of the biggest in our area, with a goal of raising more than $150,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Blount County's Relay for Life is one of the biggest in our area, with a goal of raising more than $150,000 for the American Cancer Society.

MARYVILLE (WATE) – Blount County’s Relay for Life is one of the biggest in our area, with a goal of raising more than $150,000 for the American Cancer Society.

The event would not be possible without corporate support and teams full of volunteers, donating their time, energy and emotional support to the cause.

“It does not just affect the patient. Cancer has long reaching fingers and affects everyone that person knows,” said Kris Harris, co-chair of one of the biggest Blount County Relay for Life teams.

Harris knows this all too well. She has watched friends, family members, including her own father, and co-workers battle cancer.  Just last year, she added another name to that list.

“My son is currently battling cancer. He is 31. He has a rare form of bone cancer,” she said. “I was heartbroken. I had already lost so many people.”

Harris says doctors wanted to amputate her son’s legs, but he chose instead to be part of a clinical trial. So far the decision has paid off. His cancer appears to be dormant.

“It is hard to hear your child, even though 31, has cancer because he has four kids of his own. I want to make sure he lives to see them grow up.”

As her son is fighting back, so is Harris, in her own way. She is co-captain of the Accenture Relay for Life team in Blount County.

She has been doing Relay through work for five years and has seen, firsthand, the difference it can make.

“It gives me a sense of satisfaction and comfort to know that every penny I raise for Relay might help some one get a treatment. It might help find a cure. It might help comfort someone going through treatment,” she said.

Harris and her team from Accenture are holding several fundraisers, even after Relay., and the night of the big event you can stop by their tent where you will find a cornhole tournament and several vendors, all helping them do their part to raise money an awareness for this very personal cause.

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