CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A four-year survivor of the illness, Franco Colonna doesn't even like to say the word cancer.
"Every time I hear it, it just drives me crazy, especially if it's kids," Colonna said.
Colonna was 55 years old when he was diagnosed with abdominal sarcoma. A tumor had wrapped around some of the organs in his abdomen.
It weighed 22.3 pounds exactly.
"That's a number that stays in your head the rest of your life," Colonna said.
Colonna, an employee of Charleston Newspapers, is one of many cancer survivors and others who will take part in the annual Kanawha County Relay for Life, scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Capitol Complex June 14.
The Sissonville community holds a separate Relay for Life event, scheduled for 7 p.m. June 7 at Sissonville High School.
Teams from all over the county are raising money for the event, which lasts through the night until the early morning.
Money raised during the event benefits cancer research and services for cancer patients, said Nicole Manuel, American Cancer Society (ACS) community manager for Kanawha County.
This is Manuel's first year as community manager for Kanawha County. She previously volunteered for ACS in Raleigh County.
If the community reaches its goal of $105,000 the night of the Capitol Complex event, Manuel will cut her hair and donate the ponytail to make a wig for cancer patients, then allow volunteers to shave her head. Manuel's hair is currently about halfway down her back, she said.
By allowing volunteers to shave her head, Manuel wants to show her dedication to Kanawha County, she said.