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Palm Harbor Beacon
Relay For Life seeks participants
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Photo courtesy of JANICE RUSH
Cancer survivors and caregivers start the survivor’s lap during last year’s Relay For Life event in Palm Harbor.
PALM HARBOR – This year’s Relay For Life event to benefit the American Cancer Society begins April 12, 6 p.m., at the Palm Harbor University High School track.

Event coordinators are looking for cancer survivors and caregivers to register to be celebrated and honored.

Most participants agree that Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.

At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, the Relay For Life event is an 18-hour journey providing the light of day and dark of night to parallel the physical effects, emotions and mental state of a cancer patient while undergoing treatment.

“If you are a cancer survivor or know someone who is, please sign-up to join us,” said Elise Fournier, survivor chair for the Palm Harbor event. “Survivors and caregivers join us for free and have the opportunity to meet fellow survivors and share their story.”

To register as a cancer survivor or caregiver, contact Elise Fournier for more information at phcc@palmharborcc.org.

Cancer survivors are celebrated at Relay events nationwide, and this is especially true for the Palm Harbor Relay. A cancer survivor is anyone who has ever heard the words “you have cancer.”

All cancer survivors are guests of honor at the community Relay For Life event.

Cancer survivors are proof that cancer can be defeated. Survivors will be offered special T-shirts or sashes and a special reception will be held for survivors and caregivers.

The relay event also will open with a survivor’s lap during which survivors lead the way around the track while being honored and applauded by participants. Being a part of the survivors lap allows survivors to celebrate what they’ve overcome, while at the same time inspiring and motivating their community to fight.

A Relay For Life event is also a great way for people to meet other cancer survivors in their own community. In many communities, survivors form their own teams or join the Relay committee. They also frequently volunteer for the American Cancer Society in other ways.

Cancer patient caregivers also are a major part of Relay For Life events. Taking care of a person with cancer is an important, and often difficult job. Getting involved in a local Relay For Life event can introduce caregivers to others who are facing the same challenges, providing opportunities for learning, sharing, and friendship.

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event, and is driven by volunteers. Relay For Life began in 1985 when colorectal surgeon Dr. Gordon Klatt decided to raise money for the American Cancer Society in honor of his patients by walking around a track in a 24-hour period.

Today, Relay For Life events are held in more than 5,000 communities spanning 21 countries and have raised an estimated over $3 billion. All proceeds go to funding cancer research with the aims of stomping out the disease.

In addition to fundraising, the event also raises awareness of the disease and furthers the American Cancer Society’s efforts to save lives by helping people stay well, helping them get well, and by finding cures and fighting back. More information on Relay For Life is available at www.relayforlife.org.

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, and advocacy.

The American Cancer Society is the nation’s largest nongovernmental investor in cancer research.
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