When Brianna Cagan’s dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, she and her family wanted to do something meaningful to fund cancer research. Brianna; her mom, Sue Kelly; and their friends then started a Relay For Life team called "Pearly Girls." Seven years later, the high school freshman is the American Cancer Society’s top individual fundraiser for the Berkeley Heights event. 

"Everyone should experience Relay For Life," Brianna said. "You don’t fully appreciate the struggles that both survivors and caregivers go through. My favorite part of our event is the beautiful luminaria ceremony that honors survivors and remembers those who have been lost to the disease."

Brianna is incredibly grateful that her father is a healthy survivor today. Six weeks before the event, she had already raised $3,300. And together, the 12-member powerhouse "Pearly Girls" team has raised $11,300. Another team, the Harwood Gang, is currently the top fundraising team with $13,600 raised.

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The Relay For Life is set for Saturday, June 2 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Governor Livingston High School, 175 Watching Road, and features a survivors' dinner and ceremony.

Chatham's own Relay for Life event will immediately follow from 6 to 11 p.m. at Haas Fields, 480 Main St. Madison does not appear to be hosting its own event this June.

Whether it’s been two days or 20 years from diagnosis, all are welcome.

To register and get a free survivor t-shirt for the event, contact Maureen Pergola via email at maureenpergola1@gmail.com or call 973-727-1101.

To register or form a new team for the event online, click here.

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