No one should face cancer alone.
That’s the message behind hundreds of Relay for Life events held across Canada every year. Each event is a 12-hour relay marathon that brings teams of family and friends together to raise money and awareness for the battle against cancer.
This Saturday, teams will return to the track for Surrey’s Relay for Life to celebrate survivors, commemorate lost loved ones, and show support for all those who have been affected by the disease.
This year, the relay will take place on June 16, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre (17728 64 Avenue).
Team members take turns walking around a track for 12 hours, in a day and night that is at turns emotional and triumphant. Many teams choose to name themselves after a loved one, and often dress up for the occasion in everything from superhero costumes to ballerina tutus.
Those who are resting in between walking can take in entertainment on the main stage, or activities that will be hosted throughout the day and into the evening. Or, of course, they can choose to rest at their team campsite.
In the evening, a luminary ceremony is held, in which participants place candles with messages or names of loved ones along the route to guide the way for walkers.
The funds raised at the relay will go towards cancer research, services for both patients and their loved ones, advocacy issues, and cancer prevention initiatives.
Since the first Relay for Life was held in Canada in 1999, the events have raised more than $500 million for the Canadian Cancer Society. In 2016 alone, 438 relays across the country raised more than $28 million.
Across Canada, 415 relays are scheduled to be held in 2018, with more than 110,000 participants.
As of Monday (June 11), the Cloverdale event had raised about 59 per cent of their goal.
To learn more about participating, to sponsor a team, or to make a general donation, visit www.relayforlife.ca/surrey.