As a new volunteer I thought I would post this information about Relay for Life. Why? Well, because I am new to it as well and I have no idea what to expect. So here is what they gave me.
What is Relay For Life?
The American Cancer Society 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. Each year, more than 3.5 million people in 5,000 communities in the United States, along with additional communities in over 20 other countries, gather to take part in this global phenomenon and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer. Thanks to Relay participants, we are creating a world with more birthdays – a world where cancer can’t claim another year of anyone’s life.
The American Cancer Society defines a survivor as anyone who has ever heard the words “You have cancer.” We invite all cancer survivors in the community to attend Relay For Life because they are the reason we Relay. Our goal is to create a world where more people survive cancer – so they can celebrate another birthday. This year, more than 11 million people will be able to do that thanks to the support of millions of dedicated Relay participants.
Survivors are the guests of honor at Relay and each event opens with the Survivors Lap, where survivors lead the way around the track while participants honor and applaud them. Caregivers then join in with the survivors for the second lap as the people who have walked most closely through the cancer journey with survivors. Being a part of the Survivors Lap allows survivors to celebrate what they’ve overcome while inspiring and motivating their community to fight. Survivors are proof that cancer can be defeated.
A Chance to Remember
One important aspect of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life is the opportunity for people to come together to remember loved ones lost to cancer and honor those who have won their battle. One of the most moving parts of the event is the Luminaria Ceremony. As the sun sets over campsites and darkness falls, the night is brightened by the glow of illuminated bags called luminaria; each bearing the name of someone who has been touched by cancer, many are adorned with pictures and personal messages of inspiration and love. Some celebrate cancer survivors, while others help us honor and remember those gone too soon. All represent someone special who has been profoundly affected by cancer and the family and friends who continue to fight back in their honor.
Everyone’s reason to Relay is as unique as their own personal story. At Relay, you can find healing, comfort, and support from others who have faced cancer or who have lost a loved one to the disease. You have a chance to meet people in the community who are equally as passionate about finding an end to cancer in our lifetime. You also have the opportunity to gather together with family, friends, co-workers and others to create lasting memories, from entertainment, food and games, touching ceremonies and stories of inspiration, there is something for everyone at Relay For Life.
No matter why you take part in Relay, however, one thing is clear: with every step you take, you help the American Cancer Society save lives!