Chances are…cancer will touch your life. You can’t choose when or how. However, you can choose how you respond.

When a West Alabama nursing home was touched by cancer, employees choose to respond in a way that led to record results for Relay for Life.

The reality of cancer came knocking on the door of Lighthouse Rehab & HealthCare Center in Selma in October 2013 when bookkeeper Yolanda Moore was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“She was such a trooper. She worked, had the most beautiful attitude and we celebrated her being cancer free in March 2014,” Lighthouse Administrator Armelia Oliver said. “She was such an inspiration to us that we decided that we needed a Relay for Life team to celebrate her and to help others.”

Yolanda’s brave response inspired employees to organize a team for the Dallas County Relay for Life.

“The team was named Lighthouse Jewels because we were personally affected, through our staff, by cancer,” Oliver explained. “We decided we wanted to make a difference with the American Cancer Society to touch someone’s life, to help someone.”

Mr. and Mrs. John Reese won the Easter basket Lighthouse Rehab & HealthCare Center raffled to raise funds for Relay for Life. Mrs. Reese is a Licensed Practical Nurse at Lighthouse.

Mr. and Mrs. John Reese won the Easter basket Lighthouse Rehab & HealthCare Center raffled to raise funds for Relay for Life. Mrs. Reese is a Licensed Practical Nurse at Lighthouse.

More than 60 employees participated in the effort. Some hosted a banquet, others sold barbecue. They even raffled a unique Easter basket. Nursing home residents and their family members leant their support to the Lighthouse Jewels.

The response was overwhelming. The center raised $10,055! Organizers believe it’s the most ever raised by a Dallas County Relay for Life team.

“We were not aware that people were going to respond the way they did,” Oliver said. “It made us feel so awesome that people were so responsive to us. We really didn’t know that we had such respect in the community.”

Participating in Relay for Life also helped Selma and Dallas County residents better understand Lighthouse’s mission and services.

“We were able to get a lot of people into our building that had not been here in greater than 20 years,” Oliver said. “They were amazed at the transition in the physical environment and the services within the building.”

Lighthouse employees also give back because the people they care for were once an active part of the community.

“They are the ones that created the community,” Oliver commented. “Now, we as Lighthouse staff members represent them and give back to the community representing them.”

The Alabama Nursing Home Association is proud to recognize the employees and residents of Lighthouse Rehab & Healthcare Center. They are Difference Makers because of their inspiring support of the Dallas County Relay for Life.