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The American Cancer Society is the 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, advocacy, and service.
In more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries, Relay For Life events comprise the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Each Relay For Life event is special to its community, but the movement's true power lies in the combined commitment of thousands of participants, volunteers, and supporters to help the American Cancer Society save lives from cancer.
Relay For Life teams camp out overnight and take turns walking or running around a track or path at a local high school, park, or fairground. Events are from 6 hours to 24 hours long, and because cancer never sleeps, each team is asked to have at least one participant on the track at all times.
The Relay For Life movement offers the unique opportunity for cancer survivors and caregivers to be recognized and supported. Each event hosts special events and activities, many throughout the year, so survivors and their caregivers can connect and know there is a strong support system available to them.
During the Survivors Lap, all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track, celebrating their victory over cancer while cheered on by the other participants who line the track. Relay For Life events also recognize and celebrate caregivers, who give time, love, and support to their friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers facing cancer.
The Luminaria Ceremony takes place after dark, so we can remember people we have lost to cancer, honor people who have fought cancer in the past, and support those whose fight continues. Candles are lit inside of personalized bags and are placed around the Relay track as glowing tributes to those who’ve been affected by cancer
The Fight Back Ceremony symbolizes the emotional commitment each of us can make in the fight against cancer and inspires Relay participants to take action. The action taken represents what we are willing to do for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for our community to fight cancer year-round and to commit to saving lives.