Terry Smith-Romandi says she’s convinced giving birth to her 4-year-old son saved her life, but not because nurturing Ronnie has given her a sense of purpose.

She means it literally.

"Six weeks after he was born I went to the doctor with what I thought was a blocked milk duct," she said. "It was a tumor, and doctors told me it was the progesterone in my body in my third trimester that stopped its growth."

The Scottsdale woman credits the American Cancer Society for helping her cope during chemotherapy. She will participate in this year’s Relay for Life, the society’s main fund-raiser.

Relay for Life is an overnight event in which teams raise money and pledge to camp out around a school’s track. One person from each team must be on the track during the 24-hour event.

Last year, the relay netted the cancer society’s Scottsdale chapter $112,000 for programs, a camp for young cancer patients and cancer research.

Strauss was mum on this year’s fund-raising goal.

"I don’t want to jinx myself," she said. "We have an exciting goal, but we really just want to do even more than last year."

Relay for Life

What: American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life

When: 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. April 24-25

Where: Saguaro High School track, 6250 N. 82nd St., Scottsdale

Cost: $10 per person on a team, plus funds raised from team sponsors

Information:(602) 952-7512

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