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American Cancer Society Relay For Life Gives Survivors, Caregivers Celebratory First Lap

Update Date: Apr 12, 2016 06:59 AM EDT

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Madison County will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at Oneida High School. Local Cancer survivors together with their caregivers will be taking the celebratory first lap.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer may join the survivor's lap, which will begin at 2 p.m. Other participants will cheer as the survivors walk to show support and celebration, according to Madison County Courier.

Last year, 4 million participants joined the Relay For Life in more than 6,000 events worldwide. In Madison County, teams and individuals set up campsites at a school, fairground or parks and take turns running or walking around a track. The event is held to raise money that will support cancer research, risk reduction efforts and education. It also provides free information and services for cancer patients who need them.

There are an estimated 14.5 million patients who survived from cancer in America following the 68 percent increased the rate of the five-year survival for all the cancer patients.

Relay For Life is a fundraising event initiated by the American Cancer Society. It has been celebrated in more than 5,200 communities in 20 countries. Although the event is individually held in each community, thousands of participants, volunteers and supporters are working together in helping the American Cancer Society to save more lives from cancer. The Relay For Life movement raises more than $400 million annually.

The first part of the event is the Survivor's Lap. All cancer survivors who participate in the event will take the first lap on the track. It also recognizes the caregivers who gave their time, love and support to their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers who are battling cancer.

The second part is the Luminaria Ceremony. It is done at night where the participants will light a candle to honor those who have died in cancer, battled with cancer and currently battling with cancer. The candle is lit in a personalized bag and placed around the Relay track as a tribute to those who are affected by cancer.

The last part is the Fight Back Ceremony. This powerful ceremony inspires the participants to act against cancer. This ceremony symbolizes the commitment that each people can make to fight cancer.

The Relay For Life started when Dr. Gordy Klatt ran and walked for 24 hours in May 1985 around a track in Tacoma, Washington. He was able to raise $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society to save cancer patients. It lately grew into a worldwide event raising around $5 billion to fight the disease.

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