Behind iron doors, barbed wires and cement walls, women inmates at Folsom State Prison walked for a cause.
“With this event we are giving hope to those that are affected by cancer to live a life fulfilling their dreams that we all deserve to dream,” event M.C. J. Betts said.
At the men’s facility, it was no different.
Both sides of the prison are helping to raise thousands of dollars for those affected by cancer.
Inmates kicked off the event with a singing of the national anthem, followed by a heartfelt prayer.
“This disease is a curse that is devastatingly wide spread,” said participant and inmate Caitlin Churchill as she prayed. “Father you know the lives it has affected in an effort to prevent your children from achieving greatness.”
Many got to hear from survivors like Shirley Williams who fought her own battle with ovarian cancer while behind bars.
“It is very important for me to be a part of an event like this. I did not do anything to save my life everyone else did, God, medical science, the nurses, my family,” said Williams.
Pinned to William’s shirt was a ribbon she had made to honor her parents who are also fighting the disease.
“It is me and my mom intertwined and my father is holding us together,” Williams explained.
On small paper bags, inmates got the chance to write their thoughts and express their emotions.
It was a chance to say goodbye to loved ones and connect with the world beyond the walls.
“Day by day things can be hard in here and it can be hard to find a little bit of hope. This brings us closer to our families,” said Churchill. “It is inspiring for us in here to contribute back to society because everyone here feels very shut out from society because of our own mistakes.”
So far this year Folsom Prison has helped raise $12,000 for Relay for Life.
Since starting the program 3 years ago the prison has helped raise $40,000.