As we prepare for a new year, many of us make resolutions to live healthier lives; whether that involves getting more exercise, quitting smoking, or just checking in with the doctor more regularly. While you’re making your resolution this year, why not consider getting involved in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life? This year, the City of New Albany will have a team in the Relay which takes place on Friday June 7, 2013 beginning at 4:00pm at New Albany High School. “I’m very excited to be a part of the Relay for Life this year, and I am encouraging everyone out there to join teams or create their own,” stated Mayor Jeff M. Gahan. Additionally, many of our local businesses, school and church and community groups have teams entered. Currently there are 16 teams and nearly 120 participants signed up. But it doesn’t just happen in New Albany. Although it began in 1985 with one doctor in Tacoma Washington who walked and ran around a track for 24 hours to raise $27,000, the Relay for Life is now a global event involving 4 million people in 20 countries committed to raising awareness and much-needed funds in the fight against cancer.
Today’s Relay for Life is an organized, overnight walk that takes place on a track (in this case New Albany High School’s) around which the teams camp out and individual members take turns walking. It’s a family-friendly and fun-filled atmosphere with food, games and lots of activities to provide entertainment and build camaraderie. Typically, cancer survivors begin the relay with the “Survivors Lap” to celebrate their victory over cancer while being cheered on by other participants. After dark, the “Luminaria Ceremony” commemorates those who’ve lost their battle or are still in the fight. The “Fight Back Ceremony” is a moving experience for everyone as it solidifies the emotional commitment necessary to help beat this dreaded disease once and for all.
If you’d like to get physically involved in the fight against cancer, but aren’t quite up for a 24-hour walk, you should consider volunteering for the upcoming Cancer Prevention Study-3 taking place at Floyd Memorial Hospital beginning in March. This is a nationwide study involving volunteers who are willing to commit on a long-term basis, are between the ages of 30 and 65, and have never been diagnosed with cancer (not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer). The enrollment process involves scheduling an appointment, completing an online survey, signing a consent form and providing a waist circumference measurement and a small blood sample. It’s that simple! This study is managed by the American Cancer Society’s Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research, with the goal of furthering our knowledge of how cancer develops and how to stop it in its tracks. “My office is thrilled that the American Cancer Society has offered such a great opportunity for our community to take action in the fight against cancer,” stated Mayor Jeff M. Gahan.