TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Rachel Romas was diagnosed with cancer right after her fourth birthday.
"I had a Wilms' tumor, which was a rare childhood cancer," Cancer survivor and American Cancer Society Community Representative Rachel Romas said.
She battled the rare disease for two years.
"My first memories I had formed from childhood are being at Riley Hospital so for me it's like that's the first thing I've ever known was cancer," Romas said.
She says 20 years ago, not many people even knew about cancer as a disease.
"People thought cancer was contagious so you were treated very differently, you're kind of isolated because people though it was something you could just cough on them and you would get cancer," she said.
This year, the American Cancer Society expects almost 2 million people to be diagnosed with some form of the disease.
However, thanks to research, you have a better chance of surviving.
Romas credits her family and the American Cancer Society for saving her life.
She started volunteering and participating in Relay for Life when she was 17 years old.
"To know I had other people that I didn't even know in my hometown that had had cancer, that was eye opening for me."
Now, she works for the organization and lives every day for its efforts.
"I talk about it all the time. I'm sure my Facebook friends are annoyed because it's always relay on my Facebook but again, I love it."
Rachel said it's all about raising awareness and funds for cancer research.
"My kids, I don't want them to ever hear you have cancer. I want them to ask what is cancer. If we do the things now, we can really make big steps for the future."
If you or someone you know needs help fighting cancer or has questions, the American Cancer Society encourages you to call 1-800-227-2345.
For a full list of Relay for Life races, click here for a calendar.
American Cancer Society needs volunteers. If you're interested, you can call 812-243-6541.
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