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Cancer society Relay for life kick-off event

By BRANDY ANDERSON
Staff Reporter

Sandy Behling honors Cathy Sitterud for her years of service to the Relay for Life as chairman and volunteer.

Sandy Behling, the Emery County Relay for Life chairperson, began the Relay season by announcing that the Relay will be held June 29 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Emery High School track.

Relay for Life was conceived in the mind of Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma, Wash. colorectal surgeon. He decided to walk a local track for 24 hours to raise money for the local American Cancer Society office. His patients and friends pledged money for his walk, and he raised more than $27,000.

The following year, in 1986, 19 teams took part in the first team relay event and $33,000 was raised to help fight cancer. It was transformed into a team event to raise money to fight cancer.

The first Relay for Life held in Emery County was in 1999 and Cathy Sitterud was the chairperson. Sitterud was honored at the kick off for her years of service and dedication to Relay for Life.

During the years since it began, nearly $125,000 has been raised by Emery County teams for the American Cancer Society. This money is used for cancer research, advocacy, educational services, and many services to cancer patients.

During the Relay kick off meeting, Emery County resident Jamie Jensen of Cleveland, related her story of cancer survival. "I am an eight year survivor," said Jensen.

Jensen stated she participated in several Relays and then started the Bike for Cancer bike ride. This year the ride will be Aug. 25. It is a 50 mile ride in which the participants raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

Joyce Swaner, regional director, showed a video about the reasons to Relay. She asked everyone to stand when they heard a good reason to Relay. The video began by saying: myself, my mother, my father, my son, my daughter, my spouse, my uncle, my aunt, my grandmother, my grandfather...etc. No one was still sitting when the video was finished.

Candy Price, the luminary chairperson, performed a song she has written to sing at the Relay. The luminary portion of the Relay is when candles are lit in honor of a loved one who is a survivor or has lost the battle. The name of the song is In Honor of You.

Becky Colombo from Carbon County explained further how the money is spent that is raised at Relay. "It goes for research for cures for every type of cancer. It is raising survival rates every year. It is also spent for drug development, research libraries, prostheses for patients, and wig and head coverings for chemotherapy patients," said Colombo. "The ACS funds many, many different research projects and cancer touches everyone. Everyone know someone with cancer or someone who is a survivor.

Everyone who knows someone with cancer is being encouraged to form a team and join in the Relay for Life June 29 at the Emery High School track beginning at 6 p.m. Although it is not solely a team event, it is a community event and everyone is welcome to attend, make a donation, have dinner and walk. For more information contact Sandy at 384-2983.





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