Relay for Life: A step in the right direction
One way or another, most everyone has been affected by cancer. From survivors to families, friends, and caregivers, this disease touches everyone.
Starting at 6 pm, Friday, June 5, and ending at 10 am, Saturday, the sixth annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Martha's Vineyard will take place as evidence of the Island's active support of the programs dedicated to finding a cure and providing care.
Organizers of this year's Relay hope to raise more than $100,000 to support the American Cancer Society's programs of cancer research, education, advocacy, and local patient services. Although it is not mandatory, each participant is asked to try to raise pledges totaling at least $100. The teams walk the track at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School in shifts, day into night, and into day again. There will be food, entertainment, and camaraderie as the teams camped around the track out mingle and encourage each other.
"This is an overnight event because the truth is, cancer never sleeps, and neither does our fight against it," says Lauren Brodeur-Arlia of the American Cancer Society. "This is a reality for survivors, their families and caregivers too. We want to show the world that we will not take this sitting down. This event is truly run by our volunteers and the individuals and businesses that donate money to benefit cancer research."
Eleanor Beth, a two-time survivor of breast cancer and one of the original Relay for Life committee members says, "This is a cause that everyone can get excited about. Cancer survivors walk the first lap of the race, and I guarantee anyone who comes and witnesses any part of the Relay will be thoroughly moved. I am involved not only as a survivor, but also as a community member who wants to help support a worthy cause - a cause worth fighting for."
Tammy King, a member of the Martha's Vineyard Relay for Life committee and member of the Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank relay team, says, "The first year I attended the Relay for Life on Martha's Vineyard I was astonished by how many people I knew who were walking the Survivor's Lap; children, friends, and acquaintances of mine who I did not even know had cancer. I was so touched by the amount of community support that I decided to get involved."