Cancer and Amber Kozak’s family seem to go hand-in-hand.
“I feel like we’re jinxed,” the resident said. “I’m the last person in my immediate family that has not been diagnosed with cancer or had cancer.”
In 2008, she saw both her grandparents fight and lose their battles with the disease six months apart.
“They were both already in Stage 4 lung cancer so they chose not to do chemo and enjoy what time they had left,” Kozak said.
About a year ago, her aunt, Teresa Geib of Hoffman Estates, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Geib, who is now in remission, will join Kozak to participate in the 2012 Relay for Life of Bolingbrook. The event will be held Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10, at .
Kozak’s team is called Daisy’s Darlins, in honor of her grandmother. While she has been a Relay for Life participant for about six years, this year she is also a Relay for Life committee chair.
“My aunt’s diagnosis and recovery prompted me to get more involved,” Kozak said.
She calls the annual event “a life-changing experience.”
“You have moments where you cry and moments where you laugh and moments where you remember and reflect,” she said. “And you’re doing it as a community. You know you’re not alone and that’s one of the best feelings in the world.”
The event gives the Bolingbrook community a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.
“Whether you’ve lost someone or their fighting cancer right now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel—you can still do some good in their name,” Kozak said.