Volunteers committed to fighting cancer in their communities gather once a year at an American Cancer Society Relay For Life event. Each of the more than 5,000 Relays nationwide is an overnight event that mobilizes communities to celebrate survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), remember loved ones, and fundraise for the fight against cancer. Relay was started more than 25 years ago by Dr. Gordy Klatt to raise awareness of the need for research to battle this disease. He walked and jogged around his local high school foot-ball field for 24 hours straight. Today teams of eight to 15 members will gather with the goal of keeping one person on the track at all times. Cancer survivors take the first lap. All Survivors (anyone who has faced a cancer diagnosis) are invited to join us for dinner and as our honorary guests in the Survivors Lap, which opens the Relay For Life. Their strength and courage help the community see that cancer survivorship is real – that we are making progress in the battle against cancer.
When the sun goes down, hundreds of luminarias will light the way under the stars to remember those lost to cancer, those fighting cancer, and those who have fought cancer and won. The luminarias line the track and stay lit throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions. This ceremony of light symbolizes the hope and perseverance with which we all continue to fight. Individual walking is observed throughout the night with games, activities, and entertainment. The fight back ceremony helps close the event. Relayers take a final lap and pledge to take action and spread awareness of cancer research, treatments, and prevention. The Relay For Life cancer walk has affected thousands of people. It has given them a new hope and out-look on life: You are not alone.
There are four specific areas Relay money gets divided into – Education, Advocacy, Research, and Patient Services.
Programs that benefit from money raised in Wyoming include:
• Reach to Recovery a one-on-one visitation program for women facing breast cancer.
• Road to Recovery where volunteers drive patients to and from their treatments.
• Man to Man a support group for men dealing with prostrate cancer.
• Look Good, Feel Better is information and guidance to help women undergoing chemotherapy and radiation enhance their appearance.
• I Can Cope Support Group teaches patients and their loved ones how to live and cope with cancer.
• Breast Cancer Support Group and General Cancer Support Group are support groups that meet monthly.
• Online Support at www.cancer.org and 24 hour information 7 days a week at 1-800-227-2345.
• Cancer Resource Centers making wigs, hats, scarves, bras, and educational materials available.
We look forward to Celebrating, Remembering, and Fighting Back at our Devils Tower Relay on May 4 and 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. at the Devils Tower KOA. If you’re not currently a member of a Relay Team, but would like to participate and find out more about what Relay For Life is all about, you too, are invited to come out and join us for dinner and the evening’s festivities. All that we ask is that you give a monetary donation to the American Cancer Society in support of the Devils Tower Relay For Life. For more information or to purchase lumanarias online please visit www.relayforlife.org/crookwy.
Together we’ll stay well, get well, find cures and fight back!