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Relay for Life of Webster County is Friday

From close family members to close friends, we all know someone whose life has been touched by cancer at some point. We don’t face cancer alone and neither should you. On Friday at 6 p.m. at Dodger Stadium, The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Webster County will kick off with a special Survivors Lap, a moving experience honoring those who have defeated cancer.

At Relay, cancer survivors and caregivers come together to be recognized for their personal fight against a disease that has taken too much. In addition to a special ceremony, Survivors and Caregivers laps open the event and service as a testament to the fight against cancer and the hope for a cure. New this year at Relay is the Freedom Lap, which invites and honors Veterans and their caregivers to walk to commemorate their cancer battle and journey. All survivors and caregivers are invited to join Relay, no matter where their personal journey with cancer has taken them.

With the progress being made on all fronts by the American Cancer Society, the number of cancer survivors is growing every year. Thanks to early detection and more effective treatments, millions are going on to not only survive the disease but are leading incredibly full and inspiring lives. There are more than 14 million cancer survivors living in the United States. The Society marked a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates since 1991, which means more than 1.3 million lives saved.

Across the nation, the American Cancer Society provides ordinary people an extraordinary opportunity to help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. They help empower people everywhere to fight cancer in their communities and to work with lawmakers to make our community a healthier place to live. ACS doesn’t just focus on one type of cancer or one way to combat the disease. Their work covers the entire spectrum of the cancer fight, from prevention and early detection, to support during treatment, to end-of-life care and quality of life after the cancer experience.

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 can thank all the people who have done so much to support you through your personal cancer experience. And you can gather together with friends, family, and colleagues to laugh, cry, and create lasting memories.

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 who have had cancer, remembering those lost, and fighting back against the disease. If you are a cancer survivor or caregiver and would like to take part in the Relay, call Allison Peterson at 570-1026. All survivors receive a free Relay For Life T-shirt and a special gift. No registration is necessary; all survivors are welcome to join Relay. There will be a special reception area designated for all survivors and caregivers inside Dodger Stadium.

A special Relay Luminaria Ceremony will be held at 9 p.m. This is when hundreds of personalized luminaries are lit around Dodger’s track that helps us remember those lost to cancer and honor those who have survived. Anyone desiring to make a luminaria donation may do so by contacting Meg Beshey atmegbeshey@gmail.com. Each luminaria candle is $10 and the money goes towards the fight against cancer.

“Each luminaria represents the life of someone who has battled cancer. It is a beautiful sight when all the bags with candles are illuminated around the track,” said Meg, volunteer luminaria chair. “The Luminaria Ceremony is a moving way to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to pay tribute to cancer survivors.”

We complete the Relay experience with our Fight Back Ceremony, where we make a personal commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer. Fighting back is your personal commitment to do something as simple as getting a screening tests, quitting smoking, or talking to elected officials about cancer. By taking action, people are personally taking steps to save lives and help finish the fight.

No matter why you take part in Relay, one thing is clear: with every step you take, you are helping the American Cancer Society save lives. With your help, we aren’t just fighting one type of cancer – we’re fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. Each person who shares the Relay experience can take pride in knowing that they are working to create a world where this disease will no longer threaten the lives of our loved ones or claim another year of anyone’s life.

To learn more about ACS or to get help, call anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org. For information about making a luminaria donation, forming a Relay team or walking in the Survivor, Caregiver or Freedom Laps visit RelayForLife.org/WebsterCountyIA.

Emily Stucky works at First State Bank as a mortgage lender. She is an active ACS volunteer and vhairperson for the Relay For Life of Webster County.

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