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Here's what happens at Relay for Life

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Here's what happens at Relay for Life
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So, what is Relay for Life? It is the American Cancer Society's signature activity. It gives everyone in a community a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease.


Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park or fairgrounds and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event.

Relays are an overnight event, typically 12 hours in length.

According to the American Cancer Society's website, each year, Relay for Life brings together more than 3.5 million people to:

•Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue the fight.

•Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At the event, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.

•Fight back. People relay because they have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the devastating disease.

Although every Relay for Life is different, there are certain traditions at all Relays, no matter where they are held.

Here are some of them:

•Celebrate: The Survivor's Lap - Relay for Life features a survivor's lap, which is an inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories they've achieved over cancer.

•Remember: The Luminaria Ceremony - After dark, everyone honors people who have been touched by cancer, support those who are still fighting and remember loved ones lost to the disease during the Luminaria Ceremony. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer. Participants often walk a lap in silence.

•Fight Back: The Fight Back Ceremony - During each relay, there is a Fight Back ceremony, where people make a personal commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer.

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