It’s that time again when luminaries are lit, people don purple t-shirts, and everyone walks for more birthdays.
The American Cancer Society‘s #1 volunteer-driven fundraising event, the Relay For Life has spread to over 20 countries and raised over $30 billion to date. Although the main objective of the Relay For Life is to raise money for cancer research and for cancer patients themselves, the events are held to spread cancer awareness, to celebrate the lives of survivors, to remember those who lost their lives to cancer, and to unite communities in the fight against cancer.
According to Wikipedia, the original Relay For Life began in May 1985.
“Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, decided he wanted to raise money for the American Cancer Society in honor of his patients. For 24 hours, Klatt walked around the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He walked approximately 83 miles and raised $27,000 to fight cancer. Nearly 300 of Klatt’s friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. After this successful event, Klatt thought about how other people could partake in a similar 24-hour event in communities across the country. He recruited a small team of people and put on the first Relay For Life event in 1986.”
Since then, Relay has developed into an overnight event where people bring tents and sleep out around the tracks. People of all ages come out to bring the community together and reminisce about their loved ones who have died of cancer and honor those who have survived while raising money to fight for a cure. Now, almost 4 million people take part in Relay events in over 5,000 communities in the United States. Click here to find an event near you.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer. Cancer affects us all. The sooner we can find a cure, the better.
So whether you want to walk for someone you know, someone you knew, or someone you’ve never met, the important thing is that you get involved.
Relay For Life… because the life you save might just be your own.