Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
ASHLAND - In today's day and age, it's hard to find someone unaffected by cancer.
Not too long ago, Jake Levings found out first hand.
"In 2003 I had testicular cancer and I caught it early. I was a little bit paranoid actually about it because my cousin had it and another kid who grew up in my neighborhood had it," said Jake, a survivor of testicular cancer.
Jake's cancer was successfully removed and he hasn't seen a recurrence in more than eight years.
He says the key was early detection, not waiting for things to progress any further.
"I don't know if it's out of embarrassment or it's a guy thing, where it's like 'oh it'll get better on its own.' But sometimes you find a lump and you just know something's wrong and you don't ignore that," said Jake.
A few years later, Jake and his wife Janna welcomed their first child to the world, only to find a swollen lump on Janna's neck.
"A month and a half after I had him October 12th I found out from a phone call from my doctor who said 'I'm sorry I have to tell you this but you have cancer,'" said Janna Levings, also a cancer survivor.
Janna was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer.
She's had two surgeries to remove the cancer, which at one time left her right vocal cord paralyzed.
Radioactive iodine treatment has kept it in check, but she knows there's always a chance it could come back.
Janna said, "I liken it to having weeds in your garden. You think you have everything out and then up will come a couple more weeds."
Having both gone through cancer, Jake and Janna know what wonders Relay for Life can do for those affected.
Jake said, "You know you're not alone. You know that there are a lot of stories similar to yours and that there are a lot of successes."
"You're all there because you care about people and that's a huge, wonderful message and you want to nip this in the butt and get rid of cancer," said Janna.
The Ashland–Bayfield Relay for Life will take place Friday, June 8 in Ashland.
The city of Ashland is also holding a city–wide garage sale Saturday, May 19 where many families, including the Levings will be donating earnings to the Relay for Life.