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HomeNewsArchivesCancer Society Branch Sets $200,000 Relay for Life Goal

Cancer Society Branch Sets $200,000 Relay for Life Goal

May 14, 2007 — The American Cancer Society on St. Croix hopes to raise $200,000 next week to keep aiding cancer patients at the annual 24-hour Relay for Life and accompanying luminary ceremony.
For six years, the ACS has helped diagnosed cancer patients with transportation to their treatments and testing off island. Relay for Life, set for Saturday and Sunday, is the society's biggest fundraiser.
"The Relay for Life is worldwide," said event chairman Audrey Brown. According to the ACS website, Relays are planned in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
A cervical-cancer survivor, Brown has been involved with the society since its inception on the island. Since most patients diagnosed with cancer are forced to leave the island for treatment, Brown said the society on St. Croix was formed to aid diagnosed individuals with transportation and other needs as much as they can.
"It's important when someone knocks on our door that we are able to give them a plane ticket," Brown said. "We can't help with treatment. We are here for transportation and other needs."
The first Relay for Life was in 1985. Colorectal surgeon Dr. Gordy Klatt raised $27,000 for his local branch by circling a track for more than 80 miles. This year the territory's branch hopes to greatly surpass that figure, Brown said. Groups of 15 or more participate in the relay together and Brown said the variety of people who team up together cannot be measured.
"You name it, there are teams for it," Brown said. Approximately 40 teams have already registered for the 24-hour marathon, she said.
"The statistics for people being stricken with cancer has been on the rise," Brown said, warning all residents not to forget their annual testing. If not for her annual exams, Brown said, she may have not caught her own cancer in time. "A few minutes of being uncomfortable is few more years on my life," Brown said.
The society's presence on the island makes an impact on the health of residents, she said.
"We are opening our doors and people know more about us and see that we are serious about what we are doing," Brown said.
The relay will take place at the St. Croix Educational Complex track beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday and continuing until 9 p.m. Sunday, with performances and testimonials from survivors and the accompanying luminary ceremony.
The ceremony is in remembrance and in honor of those who have suffered and survived the disease, Brown said. Candles inscribed with a survivor's name are lit and placed around the track to remind participants for whom and what they are sweating.
For more information on how to sign a team up to be a part of the Relay for Life, contact the American Cancer Society in the Sunny Isle Professional Building by calling 778-2882 or email them.
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