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Relay For Life is a 24-hour walking relay that takes place around the globe, raising funds in support of the fight against cancer. It give communities a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember lost loved ones, and fight back against the disease.
The Relay For Life events raise vital funds to support our work. At the heart of each Relay For Life event, teams of friends, neighbours, families and colleagues come together in groups and commit to keeping participants walking around a track or path for 24 hours. Hundreds of other activities take place throughout the 24 hours to create a wonderfully festive atmosphere. The event starts with a cancer suvivors’ lap of honour.
There are many ways to participate in a Relay For Life event:
In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Florida, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed—running marathons.
In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a gruelling 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound in Florida for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000 to fight cancer. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt's friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course.
While he circled the track those 24 hours, he thought about how others could take part. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Months later he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.
Today Relay For Life fundraising events have taken place or are planned in over twenty countries around the world including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and now Ireland.