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Relay For Life begins today at North Kitsap High School

Participants in the 2010 Relay For Life begin their walk. More than 20 teams and 115 individuals are signed up for this year’s event, which begins today at 6 p.m. - Brad Camp / Herald file photo
Participants in the 2010 Relay For Life begin their walk. More than 20 teams and 115 individuals are signed up for this year’s event, which begins today at 6 p.m.
— image credit: Brad Camp / Herald file photo

North Kitsap Relay For Life is Friday, 6 p.m., to Saturday, 6 p.m., at North Kitsap High School.

So far, about 22 teams and 115 participants have raised more than $21,000 for American Cancer Society advocacy, programs and research.

Organizers say Relay For Life is an overnight event because cancer never sleeps. Participants walk in honor of survivors, light candles in memory of those who have died, and rally in solidarity in the battle against cancer.

Relay teams are comprised of former and current cancer patients, those who have lost a loved one to cancer, as well as families, businesses and civic organizations.

Kathi Trostad of Poulsbo is participating to help educate people so they know how to live better to reduce their cancer risk, and to help fund research that will someday make cancer go the way of polio.

“I am a six-month breast cancer survivor and was treated right here at home in Poulsbo at the Peninsula Cancer Center,” she wrote on the North Kitsap Herald’s Facebook page. “Early detection found my tumors early.”

For information on how you can help, as a donor or participant, contact Brie Storset, American Cancer Societty staff partner, (253) 207-5154, or email brie.storset@cancer.org.

Relay For Life is held each year in thousands of communities across the United States. Thanks in part to funds raised by Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society has about $500 million in research grants in effect today. The result of those research dollars: In 1946, 25 percent of cancer patients lived at least five years after diagnosis; today, that rate is 60 percent.

All told, the American Cancer Society has invested about $4 billion in research for a cure.

In addition to helping support research, Relay For Life supports local services that help people recover and enjoy an improved quality of life. Among the programs:

— Look Good Feel Good, which helps women living with cancer learn special cosmetic techniques to manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer and its treatment.

— Road to Recovery, which provides rides to and from treatment for patients who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.

— Reach to Recovery, a program that matches patients with volunteers — many of whom are cancer survivors — who can provide a measure of comfort, emotional grounding and assistance in making informed health decisions.

— National Cancer Information Center and helpline. The center provides support and valuable information for newly diagnosed cancer patients. The helpline, (800) 227-2345, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

— One-year college scholarships for young cancer survivors to help relieve the burden on families paying costly medical bills.

— Lodging for patients undergoing treatment, to help ease their financial burden.

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