Categories: Volunteers & Charity

Cancer relay calls out ‘Ready … Set …’

Somewhere out there, people are already stretching their legs, limbering up in anticipation of the next edition of a special running event that will see teams take to the track for 12 hours straight.

The second annual Relay for Life will take place on June 11. Organizers are encouraging people to register now and start off on the right foot.

Amanda Race, the event co-ordinator with the Canadian Cancer Society, hopes that more people register now and start fundraising early. She wants to make sure St. Albert has an even more successful showing than last year’s results.

“It gives people time to get their teams organized early,” she explained. “The longer they have, the further they can go with their fundraising.”

Last year the relay saw 17 teams with more than 150 participants, including 13 cancer survivors, take turns treading the track. They raised more than $57,000, an impressive number but still shy of the goal of $75,000.

This year, Race wants 210 people (including 50 survivors) on 21 teams to bring in $80,000. According to its website, there are only four teams registered so far with 15 members in total.

Honorary survivor Dawn Goulding-Cooper is one of those registrants. A few years ago, she was 34 weeks pregnant when doctors found an abdominal tumour. She was induced, delivering a healthy baby girl, before she was operated on a few weeks later. She described the results.

“Most of my large and small colon, my spleen … they removed my spleen. They removed a third of my stomach, part of my pancreas and part of my diaphragm,” she said, with spirits still high and an infectious laugh. “I’m doing good now.”

The 33-year-old just wants people to never give up the fight.

The relay is an overnight event going from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., so make sure to eat your carrots. After all, the event’s motto is ‘Cancer doesn’t sleep.’ Luckily, it takes place right around the time we get the fewest hours of night.

The Relay for Life goes from 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 to 7 a.m. on Sunday, June 12. It takes place at the Fowler Athletic Track on Sir Winston Churchill Avenue between Richard S. Fowler and Sir Alexander Mackenzie schools. It is a non-competitive relay designed to celebrate cancer survivors and pay tribute to loved ones at the same time. Candles called luminaries line the track for light but also as poignant symbols of courage and remembrance.

For more information on the event, visit www.cancer.ca/relay or call 780-437-8419.

This Monday also saw the start of Daffodil Days, another fundraiser for the society. People can purchase daffodils for $6 a bunch or $300 for a case. Visit www.cancer.ca for more information.

Scott Hayes: Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.