Take part in Relay

Published 8:24 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2015

There are 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States today, a number that is estimated to increase to almost 19 million by 2024, according to the American Cancer Society.

The rate of cancer deaths is in a steep decline, the society also says. And the sheer amount of research, education and patient care and support provided by the society is unparalleled in America.

You can help contribute to all of that at this weekend’s Relay For Life. Money raised supports millions of dollars’ worth of research into causes, prevention and treatment; education on how to reduce your risk and the importance of getting screened early; support for patients and their caregivers as they’re fighting the disease; and more.

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Relay is at once a fun, empowering and emotional event. It’s fun because there is plenty of entertainment and activities. It’s empowering because survivors and those who have lost loved ones to the disease feel like they’re fighting back against an evil to which they have no other recourse. It’s emotional because the survivors’ lap and luminaria ceremony provide an opportunity to remember and reflect.

You can be a part of Relay, even if you haven’t participated in any of the preliminary events. Just show up on Saturday and take part. We bet you’ll be inspired to become a bigger part of the event next year, whether as a team member, team captain or volunteer.

The Relay will take place at Bennett’s Creek Park, 3000 Bennetts Creek Park Road, from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. May 16-17. Visit www.relayforlife.org/suffolkva for more information.