The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life event is often defined as a celebration of life, symbolizing the courage and spirit of more than 600,000 cancer survivors who, each year, proudly walk the event’s survivor lap at more than 5,2000 Relay For Life events worldwide.
“More people are surviving cancer than ever before and I am one of them,” stated Jeni Schnebelt, a cancer survivor.”
“In fact there are nearly 14 million cancer survivors living today. Thanks to the advances we’ve made in the fight against cancer, I am living proof that this disease is survivable, but there is still more work to be done to ensure everyone diagnosed with cancer celebrates more birthdays.”
“That is why we hold the Relay For Life of Ripley County each year. We are inviting all cancer survivors, no matter if it’s been one day or one decade since their diagnosis, to come out and be celebrated.”
Local cancer survivors will be honored during multiple activities at the event beginning Saturday morning.
Survivor celebration activities offer both survivors and caregivers an opportunity to experience healing, receive support, and celebrate their collective victory over cancer.
Relay For Life begins with a Survivors Lap at 8 a.m. This inspiring lap honors the courage of all who have defeated cancer. Cancer survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer) join together to walk the opening lap – unified in victory and in hope. It’s an emotional example that Relay For Life is ensuring more lives are saved every year.
“The Survivor Lap is one of the most moving experiences of my cancer journey,” said Jeni Schnebelt. Each year, I’m overwhelmed by the crowds of people who surround the track cheering on survivors like me. It reminds me that I’m not alone in my fight against cancer” says Schnebelt.
After dark, those who have been touched by cancer are honored and those who have lost their battle are remembered during the Luminaria Ceremony. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer. “The Luminaria Ceremony brings to light the impact cancer has had on our community and inspires us to do everything possible to find a cure.”
The atmosphere of Relay For Life is one of camaraderie and celebration, providing an opportunity for cancer survivors to pass the torch of hope on to those still battling cancer or those who might be touched by cancer in the future.
If you would like to make a donation for a luminaria bag in honor or in memory of someone touched by cancer, please contact Jeni Schnebelt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Luminaria also will be available at the event. All donations received for luminaria and the Relay For Life as a whole are used to fund the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives and create a world with more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back against cancer.