MARYVILLE – For area residents battling cancer, “Happy Birthday” takes on a whole new meaning.
Volunteers are continuing to devote their time, talents and energy over the next month to saving lives faster and creating a world with more birthdays as they prepare for this year’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Riverbend Friday, June 13, at Roxana Park.
Relay For Life is an overnight event that brings the community together in the fight against cancer to celebrate the lives of those who have cancer, remember those lost to the disease, and fight back against a disease that takes too much. Teams of local businesses, schools, churches, community groups and families raise funds — prior to and at the event – to support cancer research to help find cures and to provide local programs aimed at helping people stay well, get well and fight back. Since the event falls on Friday the 13th, there will be trick or treating and costume contests for both kids and adults along with many other fun activities for the whole family.
“Just like each birthday, I look forward to putting a team together each year for Relay and celebrating together,” said event co-chair Dave Watts. “This family-friendly event is open to everyone. Whether you take in the entertainment for a couple of hours or stay all night, we hope that you will make plans to support your Relay For Life of Riverbend and our efforts to eliminate this awful disease forever.”
Relay For Life of Riverbend starts at 6 p.m. with local cancer survivors uniting to walk the first lap of the event. They are then joined by family, friends and co-workers; the caregivers who helped them through their battle with cancer.
The Luminaria Ceremony will be held at 9:30 p.m. just after dark, to honor and remember loved ones. Honorees include survivors, caregivers and those who have lost their battle against the disease. Hundreds of luminaria will line the track and continue to burn throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their loves ones’ contributions. Luminaria are available by calling Jacqueline at (618) 288-2320 opt. 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting www.relayforlife.org/riverbendil. They will also be available at the event.
American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Riverbend organizers hope to raise $92,000 at this year’s event.
On average, 183 Illinoisans are diagnosed with cancer every day. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in Illinois, followed by colorectal cancer.
Relay For Life helps fund the American Cancer Society’s efforts to advance cancer prevention, treatment, patient services and cures. This includes the Society’s Patient Navigation Services program, designed to fill a critical void in heath care and social services by acting as a full-service navigator to anyone touched by cancer. The services provided by the American Cancer Society include transportation assistance to treatments; discounted lodging at hotels for patients who need to travel to receive care; insurance coverage assistance; resource matching and referrals; and cosmetic help such as free wigs or headware for patients who have lost their hair because of chemotherapy. The society also offers cancer information and access to support groups via its call center, accessible anytime at (800) 227-2345, and at its website, www.cancer.org.
For more information on how to get involved in Relay For Life of Riverbend, contact the American Cancer Society at( 618) 288-2320 opt. 3 or visit www.relayforlife.org/riverbendil.