PROSPER — Dealing with any illness can be troublesome; living with cancer, however, can be one of the most difficult things a person can experience.

Aside from the pain and suffering the disease causes, it can be troubling for families financially as well.

That’s why Prosper High School participates in Relay for Life, a national charity event sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The schools who wish to hold a Relay for Life event get partnered with a representative from the ACS, who then helps guide the school during set-up and preparation.

“This event helps raise money for the American Cancer Society,” Carlee Tinsley, who is the head chair for Prosper’s Relay for Life. “THe ASC supports people going through the fight against cancer by providing access to care and support, while using money for cancer research.”

Since January, Prosper High student council members have worked tirelessly to set up this year’s event, partnering with local businesses to ensure sponsorship and community involvement. Donations are also accepted from the sponsors.

Participants create teams for the event, who will then have one member of the party always walking around the track. The other members of the team can check out the different booths around the Prosper High School track, which include food and drinks, games and music.

Student council member and senior Kristin Knipe has been an integral part to the planning of Prosper’s Relay for Life as the entertainment and fundraising chair. She has worked with the sponsors and school clubs to help make sure everything runs as smooth as possible to day of the event.

“I really enjoy getting to plan the entertainment and getting to be creative,” Knipe said. “It is so great to put in all the work for months on end and then to see how we have impacted our community and put smiles on so many faces.”

Tinsley and Knipe’s efforts, along with the rest of the council, haven’t gone unnoticed.

In the past, Prosper’s Relay for Life has been very successful; last year’s event alone garnered more than $40,000 in donations, with a couple hundred people in attendance. They hope to raise even more this year.

Centered around bringing awareness to the cancer research, people of all ages are encouraged to attend. There is a $10 entrance fee. It will takes place on April 20 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Prosper High School football field.

There are plenty of opportunities to honor anyone who has been affected by the disease during the event. On the Thursday before Relay for Life, the planning council holds a special dinner in honor of cancer survivors and their families.

During the actual “relay,” there are specific laps that are to be walked by the survivors and anyone who has been a part of their journey. At the end of the evening, participants have the opportunity to purchase a luminary in honor of anyone who has battled with cancer. The luminaries will be released during the closing ceremony.

“Even if you are not directly affected by cancer, the event is super fun,” Knipe said.

For more information, to donate or to join the Relay, you can visit the ACS Fundraising page for Prosper.