Everyone has had their life touched by cancer in one way or another.
Many people have battled this disease themselves. More people know someone who has fought the good fight against cancer or mourn the loss of a dear friend or beloved relative who has died from this disease.
While science has made great strides finding new treatments to fight cancer, it is still a feared disease.
The fight against cancer continues.
Relay For Life was started in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington when a doctor decided to walk around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
It has since become the largest fundraising effort to fight cancer with 5,000 communities in the U.S. involving 3.5 million people in the Relay For Life activities.
Cecil County’s Relay For Life will start at noon on Saturday, May 20 at the Elkton High School sports stadium.
Teams, many that have been fundraising throughout the year, march around the track for the hours of Relay For Life. They have gotten pledges for their efforts. There are opportunities to participate in fundraising activities or to purchase items at the Relay event with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.
Relay For Life begins with The Survivor’s Lap. People who have fought cancer are invited to become inspired and to be an inspiration by joining together to take an emotional walk around the track. This shows how people are winning their cancer battles and continue to fight their battles against the disease. The Survivors Lap celebrates their struggles and is also a testament to the hard work of caregivers and those who support friends and family with the disease.
Another tradition is The Luminaria Ceremony. After darkness falls at Relay For Life, candles are lit in paper bags that bear the names of those whose lives have been disrupted by cancer and those who have been lost to cancer. During this time of Relay For Life, participants in the walk usually do a lap in silence so all can reflect on the need to continue to back efforts to find more treatments and cures.
The Fight Back Ceremony is a time to promote personal action to fight the disease. People make the commitment to talk to an elected official about how the government can help fight cancer. People can commit to living a better lifestyle to help diminish the odds of getting cancer through actions such as healthier eating or quitting smoking. They can also vow to get routine cancer screenings.
The themes for Relay For Life are celebrate, remember and fight back.
This year, the Cecil County Relay For Life has a goal of raising $100,000. So far, they have raised close to $43,000 through all sorts of fundraisers throughout the year.
Through the years, Cecil County has proudly increased their fundraising for the American Cancer Society. Try to stop by Elkton High School Saturday afternoon or evening and help Relay For Life have another successful year.