Relay for Life: 'I cry every time I take the survivor lap'

Relay for Life: 'I cry every time I take the survivor lap'
Addie Miller volunteers to coordinate cancer survivors at the Relay for Life at Willamette High School July 27-28.

EUGENE, Ore. - When cancer survivors arrive in Addie Miller's tent at the Relay for Life, they get a hero's welcome.

"These aren't just people that you meet on the street," Miller said. "These are family."

Miller is in charge of all the survivors who come to Relay for Life. She meets - and celebrates- them all.

"I do everything I possibly can in order to help because that's what they did for me," she said. "That's how I want to give back."

Millers sees it as giving back to the people who helped give her life back to her.

"I had a double mastectomy in 2002," she said. "When I first found out the news, I was in kind of like a little cocoon. I was shocked, I was disappointed. I just  withdrew from everybody."

She fought through surgery and radiation - and found her wings.

"I became a butterfly, so I came out of my cocoon to be a  butterfly," Miller said. "And that's what I'm for all the survivors to be."

Miller has thrown herself into Relay for Life, volunteering as the survivor chair year after year.

She said the victory lap for survivors on the track is a powerful moment.

"Just being here with everybody is ... well, I cry every time I take the survivor lap," she said. "Anybody that's out there that's never experienced this, all they have to do is show up one time, they're hooked."