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Relay For Life in the fight against cancer

Published:Wednesday | April 1, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Marilyn Hayre (left), member Jamaica Reach to Recovery, and Rainford Wint, head of Gleaner Online Sales, watch attentively as Donaver Esson, a 21-year breast cancer survivor, lights the In Honour of Luminaria candlefor all cancer survivors at the Jamaica Cancer Society Relay For Life launch last Thursday.

The Jamaica Cancer Society's Relay For Life has been set for June 13-14, when it will once again give every Jamaican the opportunity to unite for a common cause - the fight against cancer.

The true spirit of volunteerism throughout Jamaica has grown tremendously over the years through Relay for Life, now in its 13th year. The event has successfully brought Jamaicans together in one single night to celebrate cancer survivorship, the resilience and determination of those individuals who continue to inspire and reaffirm the mission of the organisation, and in a more personal way, reinforce the need for all to continue to fight back.

The Relay For Life concept involves a team of workers/runners competing against each other to raise the most money and to stay all night at the event. The event is a relay that lasts for an extended period - an overnight of 12-15 hours - because 'cancer never sleeps'.

Remember loved ones

The Jamaica Cancer Society also uses the opportunity to remember loved ones who fought, but lost the battle to the disease, these angels gone but certainly not forgot.

Relay For Life is now held in more than 4,500 sites across the United States and more than 20 countries worldwide. More than 3.5 million people, almost half a million of them cancer survivors, participate in Relay For Life each year.

Each year, millions of dollars are raised for the fight against cancer.

Through Relay For Life, Jamaica now contributes to the global fight against cancer, as a portion of the funds raised is channelled through the American Cancer Society to support the global research initiative.

Worldwide, approximately two thirds of all cancer deaths could have been prevented or the risk significantly reduced by changes in lifestyle, such as proper diet and nutrition, physical activity, non-use of tobacco, and limited alcohol consumption.

The Jamaica Cancer Society is messages of early detection through ongoing screening and effective treatment are the primary reasons why celebrating cancer survivorship at Relay for Life is a a matter of priority.