Relay for Life this month, be part of it

2016-02-24 06:00
PHOTO: andrew mcfadden Last year's Cansa Relay For Life was a great success. Be a part of the event this year.

PHOTO: andrew mcfadden Last year's Cansa Relay For Life was a great success. Be a part of the event this year.

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IT is very rare to find someone whose life has not been affected by cancer in some way. Everyone has a story to tell - either their own cancer diagnosis or that of a friend or family member.

The Relay For Life, an international event, is an opportunity to come together and share what this disease has meant in our lives. We celebrate those who have battled against cancer and won, we remember those who have lost their lives to cancer and we commit ourselves to fighting back against a disease that has already taken too many lives.

Maritzburg Fever is the official media partner of the Relay for Life.

Relay For Life began in 1985 when Dr Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon in Tacoma, Washington, ran and walked around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Association.

Since then, Relay For Life has grown from a single man’s passion to fight cancer into the world’s largest movement to end the disease.

Despite its name, the Cansa Relay For Life is neither a sporting event nor a competition. It is an all-night, team event where teams camp around a track and take turns walking around the track all night, because cancer never sleeps. Cancer survivors are the VIPs at this event and in addition to walking the first lap of celebration, they are invited to a survivors’ dinner on site at 7pm.

Because 90% of cancers are caused by lifestyle and environmental factors, one of the aims of Cansa is to share information about cancer prevention. Lifestyle risk assessments, which highlight behaviours that increase an individual’s cancer risk, will be offered free of charge to all participants at the Cansa Relay For Life and information will be provided on strategies to lower the identified risks.

Although cancer prevention is our ultimate aim, the second prize is detection of cancer in its early stages. South Africa has the second highest rate of skin cancer in the world and at the upcoming event the focus will be on skin screening. Free scanning of moles using a Fotofinder machine will be offered for those who have moles they are concerned about.

Teams wishing to participate in this event, including those from schools, companies, sports teams, families and community and/or religious groups have until Friday, 27 February to register at a cost of R800 for a team of 10 people. Survivors who would like to attend also need to register by 27 February. There are no costs involved for survivors to attend. Registration forms are available from Bruce Kenneth at 082 521 1755 or bkenneth@cansa.org.za or from the Cansa Pietermaritzburg, Midlands Care Centre at 10 Killarney Terrace. - Supplied.

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