Dealing without Death …

By : Jesirel M. Rivera

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease , according to the official web page of the Relay for Life, http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=21228 . At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path.

This event is one of the most biggest celebration of the fight against the cancer . The advantages and benefits offered by the American Cancer Society are direct aid to cancer patients, financial assistance for medications, treatments, medical equipment, transportation and accommodation. They also offer clinics and ostomy patient support for women with breast cancer. Provide medical equipment, medicines and treatments, free to the patient studies according to Keila Castro , captain or a team of the Relay of Life of San Sebastian PR.  All this advantages are covered with the fundraised of the activity Relay for Life.

Going back , according to the official page of the activity . In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office and to show support for all of his patients who had battled cancer. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed  running marathons. In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. He ran for more than 83 miles. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt’s friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. Throughout the night, friends donated $25 to run or walk with Dr. Klatt for 30 minutes. His efforts raised $27,000 to fight cancer.

Survivors lap and luminary ceremony

This event organize a lot of activities to cheer up and celebrate the life, some of them are the luminary ceremony, the survivors lap and the fight back ceremony.  The luminary ceremony is when we honor the people who has been touched by cancer and remember the lost ones .Using candles in a bag fill with sand with the name of one person touched by cancer and the volunteers and survivors offer a silence walk for them .

The survivors lap is a inspirational time when the survivors walk to celebrate their life   , in this moment all the volunteers applauded them for their brave and strong. These individuals give their time, love, and support to friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers who face cancer. The fight back ceremony is when we make personal commitments to save life and fight against the cancer.

Some people join this activity because have familiars that suffer or die of cancer  or maybe survive to this disease , like the case of  Yairaliz Rodriguez , student of biology of the UPRM and survivor of leukemia . “I like that each youth learn what it means to the relay, which is a nice experience, you can spend well besides that we butler for a good cause and helping others” said Yairaliz.

This event is an activity of a complete one year of work, because you have to make or join a team, and each team need to organize activities to raised the money for the event.  Each team make sales of t-shirts, candles, ornaments and caps and all the money go to American Association of Cancer . In the event the team that raised more money is reward . Other categories to be reward are decorations , team work.

Each year one young survivor is choose to be the symbol kid , and the last year was Yairaliz Rodriguez “Despite having gone through this disease never imagine being young symbol of an event as important as the Relay for Life because I do not participate by earning some credit, just do it for help and that I like” tell us .

In the case of the events in the west area , funds raised in relief services are transformed into direct patient WEST AREA. This means that if someone needs to get a mammogram, if someone needs medication or money to the chemo or need any equipment they are free of charge. Just give food (Ensure). Clinics offering, patient support (psychologist, nutritionist, etc) are some of the activities to the volunteers and survivors.

According to the facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=14390040540 ) Relay for life is the result that the organization has saved over 11 million lives in the American nation through : Education for people to stay healthy , programs ans services to help patients improve their health during treatment , research for a cure and fight this disease through healthy public policy support.

Relay For Life

The first events of Relay For life 2010 are in Sabana Grande in February 5 and in San Sebastian in February 20 . One of the Relay for Like most visited according to the facebook page is in Mayaguez  .This event is celebrate in the UPRM and a lot of college students participate and support the activity including the marching band of the university.

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