Join the fight against cancer and the movement to create a world with more birthdays, by participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Webster County on Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Dodger Stadium. This inspiring event unites the entire community in celebrating those who have had cancer, remembering loved ones lost and providing an opportunity to fight back against the disease. Relay For Life supports the Society's mission to save lives by helping people stay well, helping people get well, finding cures and fighting back.
Relay brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups - people from all walks of life - all aimed at celebrating the lives of those affected by cancer and fighting back against the disease. It is important to note that there is no cost to attend the Relay For Life, and everyone is more than welcome to attend, especially all survivors of cancer. Also, it is not too late to start or join a team for this year's Relay For Life.
A special Luminary Ceremony to be held during the Relay will remember those lost to cancer and honor those who have survived. Luminaria will be lit around the track at 9:30 p.m. to represent these individuals. Each luminaria represents the life of someone who has battled cancer. The Luminary Ceremony is a moving way to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to pay tribute to cancer survivors.
Prior to the Luminary Ceremony, the Survivors Lap will kick off the 2010 Relay For Life at 6:30 p.m. as survivors will circle the track, surrounded by friends and family cheering them on.
''The Survivors Lap is very inspiring, you can see the pride and appreciation the survivors have for the moment,'' said Craig Schlienz, event chair for this year's Relay.
Also a part of Webster County's Relay For Life event is the ''Fight Back'' Ceremony, which will inspire Relay participants to make a commitment and will challenge them to take a personal pledge of action (e.g., stop smoking, eat more healthily, exercise regularly, etc.) in fighting back.
One of the biggest responsibilities of the American Cancer Society is funding research to help in the fight against the disease. Since it was founded in 1946, the American Cancer Society's research program has played a role in nearly every major breakthrough in cancer, including confirming the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer; establishing the link between obesity and multiple cancers; developing drugs to treat leukemia and advanced breast cancer; and showing that mammography is the most effective way to detect breast cancer. In Iowa, a vast number of researchers from a number of major institutions are adding their expertise and findings to the field of knowledge in the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society and the Relay For Life event provide funding to Iowa researchers who propose the most promising and innovative projects in the effort to fight cancer. The continued availability of this funding depends on the success of events such as this Friday's Relay For Life. On the national level, the American Cancer Society has funded the research of 44 scientists who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize for their efforts.
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than 3 million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation's largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year.
As a Relay For Life committee member and cancer survivor himself, Alan Wooters said, ''It is uplifting and encouraging to share the evening with fellow cancer survivors,'' and ''The evening offers a great deal of encouragement and hope to those recently diagnosed with cancer because of the sheer number of survivors and camaraderie during the Relay.'' Alan's powerful words sum up the incredible impact of the Relay For Life and reinforce the mission and vision of the American Cancer Society.
We hope to see you at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Dodger Stadium. If you can't make it right at 6, please feel free to come any time between 6 p.m. and midnight. The Relay will conclude at midnight with a luminaria vigil to continue overnight. Luminaria can be purchased prior to the event at Fort Dodge Ford Toyota or at First Federal Savings Bank in Fort Dodge. For more information about making a luminaria donation, forming a team or walking in the Survivors Lap, call Craig Schlienz at 571-0684, or visit www.relayforlife.org/webstercountyia.
Nick Johnson is a member of the 2010 Relay For Life Committee.