The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is hosting rallies across the Valley region this month to connect communities and raise funds to help save lives from cancer.
The Conejo Valley Relay for Life was held Sept. 18 and events for the greater San Fernando Valley, along with Ventura and Oxnard, were held Sept. 25. Additional Relay for Life events are scheduled in Santa Clarita and Simi Valley for early October. The events are free to attend and feature a main stage, food trucks, games, bands and contests to raise funds to donate to the American Cancer Society. Cancer survivors and their families and caregivers are honored with a walking lap and special ceremony.
Together these events in the Valley region have so far raised more than $200,000 for the nonprofit, which provides information and support for cancer patients, survivors and their families. Funds raised help the society conduct medical research, provide 24/7 support for cancer patients and provide access to lifesaving screenings.
“Relay for Life of the Greater Valley is a San Fernando Valley block party that brings the entire community together to fight back against cancer, celebrate cancer survivors and remember the ones we’ve lost. Nobody’s cancer diagnosis should be harder because of their income, or the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, or their disability status, or where they live. We can and must do more,” read a statement from the Valley event.
Relay for Life started in May 1985, when Dr. Gordon Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Now, for more than 35 years, participants and volunteers across the world host regular community events and fundraise to promote the mission of a future without cancer.
“I initially started raising funds for the American Cancer Society in my mother’s honor because she battled breast cancer when I was just 6 years old. My family was so fortunate that my mom survived. I continue to volunteer for ACS through Relay for Life as a way to ensure more mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, everyone has the resources, support and innovative treatments to survive cancer, until we find a cure,” Erin Muroski, event lead of Relay for Life of the Greater Valley, said in a statement.