Local cancer survivors and their caregivers will take the celebratory first lap at the annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Oakdale and Riverbank event on Saturday. The 2017 Relay will be hosted on Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7 at Oakdale High School. The Survivors Lap will begin at 8:30 a.m. on May 6.
Anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers are encouraged to join the celebration. As the survivors walk, other participants will cheer them on in a demonstration of support and celebration. After the initial lap around the track set up on the soccer fields on the OHS campus, members from the various teams will join in, officially kicking off the 24-hour team event. More than two dozen teams from the communities will gather for the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser.
The Relay For Life of Oakdale and Riverbank is a community event where teams and individuals come together to honor, celebrate, and raise funds and awareness in an effort to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer. Money raised will help the American Cancer Society provide free information and support for people facing the disease today, and fund cancer research that will help protect future generations.
The 24-hour concept is designed to signify that ‘Cancer Never Sleeps’ and there is for at least one member from each team on the track at all times. The teams host booths where they offer food, beverages, games, opportunity baskets and more, along with providing cancer prevention and detection information. Also featured throughout the event are entertainment, special theme laps, the chance to purchase luminaria bags to help circle the track to light the way for the evening and the luminaria ceremony with guest speaker and video.
Survivors and Caregivers were invited to a Brunch held previously in their honor and enjoyed a menu of eggs, muffins, bread and fresh fruit. There were three survivors attending for the first time, some as young as 42 years old. One caregiver flew out from Louisiana to support his mother who is also a survivor. Marilyn Boatright, a survivor and a member of this year’s Event Leadership Team, shared a touching message with attendees, themed “We are all different, and all the same.”
Survivors were invited to attend the upcoming Relay For Life, and they took a ceremonial Survivor Lap around the room in preparation for the May 6 event. The brunch was organized by Event Leadership Team Member Annie Lemons who reflected on how cancer has affected people at so many different stages of life, and how it was remarkable to see how this community of Survivors and Caregivers relate to one another at the event.
If you are a cancer survivor or caregiver and would like to be part of the Relay For Life event this weekend, visit RelayForLife.org/oakdaleca, or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.