The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life may be about raising money for cancer research, but it also honors those who have been affected by the disease.
Relay for Life events around the nation give survivors a chance to celebrate their good health with event activities such as the Survivor Lap. This lap opens every Relay for Life event around the country.
“Whenever you take a lap around for the Survivor Lap, everyone is just cheering you on and there’s all this positive energy just, like, hope for survival,” said caregiver Genevieve Rodriguez. “It’s just a great atmosphere.”
Cancer survivors receive a special T-shirt and sash to wear during the duration of the event so that everyone knows they have overcome the disease.
Their caregivers also receive a commemorative sash to wear.
“Now as a survivor of an insidious breast cancer, which could come back at any time, to be considered a survivor is a wonderful miracle,” said survivor Eileen Golisz.
Luminary bags are another way that Relay for Life participants can honor family and friends that are continuing to fight or have died of cancer.
Each bag is decorated and then lined up along the track. They are lit with candles during the Luminaria Ceremony that takes place at night along with a silent lap, where participants walk the track in silence to memorialize loved ones who have died of cancer.
To learn more about Relay for Life and its contributions to the American Cancer Society, visit www.relayforlife.org.