Baily Hansen is the honorary chair of the Redwood County Relay for Life this year – the first person to be selected for the honor twice.
Bailey Hansen has been given a second chance, and she plans to take every advantage of that opportunity.
“When I was five years old I was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor,” Hansen said, admitting at that age she really had no idea what that meant. “I remember spending a lot of time in the hospital.”
Wilms’ tumor, also known as nephroblastoma, is a rare type of kidney cancer primarily found in children.
Hansen said she remembers not feeling well and going to the doctor who did not find anything wrong at first.
More tests were performed when she had not gotten better, and that is when the tumor was found.
“They found the tumor on my left kidney,” she said.
After having her kidney removed and undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Hansen was given a clean bill of health, and she has been cancer free ever since.
“I have a check-up once a year, she explained.
Hansen said as a result of her diagnosis her family, along with friends and members of her church, created a Relay For Life team known as Bailey’s St. John’s Buddies, and it has been involved with the cancer fundraiser since.
“I remember we sold glow sticks,” Hansen recalled, adding the team now has a quilt made that utilizes recycled Relay For Life t-shirts.
Chances to win that quilt can be purchased for $1 now through Friday.
Hansen said she was named the honorary chair of Relay For Life when she was younger, and said she doesn’t remember a lot about that experience. However, she does remember not wanting to speak in front of the crowd. So, Bailey’s Buddies members got together the year she was the honorary chair and sang “Angels Among Us” during the opening ceremony.
Hansen is the 2013 honorary chair – the first person to be selected for the honor twice, and she is looking forward to the opportunity to share during the opening ceremony this year.
As a college student, Hansen said she and a friend are talking about starting a Relay For Life event at Buena Vista University in the future, which means she may not be as active in the local event. Yet, she added, no matter how busy she gets she really wants to try and get back to attend Relay For Life in Redwood County.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said.
Hansen said she wanted to thank everyone who has been supportive of her over the years.
Life has gotten back to normal for Hansen, who has benefitted from her cancer experience through a scholarship she received to help cover college costs.
She encouraged everyone to come out and participate in Relay For Life this Friday night.