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We are committed to helping people get well, stay well, find cures, and fight back against cancer. Our Mission Statement 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.
One person can make a difference. Nowhere is that more evident than with the story of Relay For Life, which began in Tacoma, Washington. In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000!
While he circled the track, he thought about how others could take part. In 1986, 19 teams took part in the first team relay event on the track at the colorful, historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the tents that dotted the infield.
Although every Relay is different, there are certain traditions at all Relays. It starts with a Survivors Lap - an inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories we’ve achieved over cancer. After dark, we honor people who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost to the disease during the Luminaria Ceremony. Candles are lit inside bags, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and participants walk a lap in silence. Last, there is a Fight Back Ceremony, where we make a personal commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer year-round.More than just a fundraiser, Relay is a life-changing experience. Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.
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