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Relay for Life: How do you know that you are making a difference

by Mary Ann Lekatz
Many people participate in the Ely American Cancer Society Relay for Life either as a survivor or walker.
This year the Relay is scheduled for Friday, August 21, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Most northern Minnesota Relays have switched to this time frame.
Come and join in the festivities – there will be a booth selling fresh popcorn, flasher rings, rings that light up, and many other items for you to purchase and help the fight against cancer.
Survivor and team participants work for an event T-shirt which have become a badge of honor worm only by those who have dedicated their time, talent, resources, and therapies (whether it was radiation or chemotherapy) to personally helping the American Cancer Society Fund the fight to end cancer.
We believe your participation demonstrates that you have gone the extra mile to save lives and fight back against cancer.
Any donation to the Relay for Life is greatly appreciated and here are some examples that help others.
$20 can help connect 20 people to clinical trials through our clinical trials matching service, which currently lists 6,000 ongoing studies. I was on a clinical trial for over 10 years and I hope my participation has helped others.
$50 can help provide four rides to or from treatment for a cancer patient. (Through our Road to Recovery Program, American Cancer Society volunteer drivers provided nearly 380,000 free rides to and from treatment for cancer patients. The cost of providing one transportation service, including volunteer training, is about $11.)
$100 can help guide four women facing breast cancer through every step of their journey. (Through our Reach to Recovery program, the American Cancer Society provided more than 51,300 services in 2013 to women facing a breast cancer diagnosis by connecting them with a trained breast cancer survivor volunteer. The cost of providing one Reach to Recovery service, including training volunteers and connecting volunteers with patients costs about $24.00) Remember we talk about women getting breast cancer but men can also get this disease.
$500 can help offer a cancer patient and their caregiver six nights of free lodging when having to travel away from home for treatment. (Last year, the American Cancer Society provided 230,700 free nights to cancer patients and their caregivers who had to travel away from home for treatment at our Hope Lodge facilities, saving them millions in lodging costs. One night of lodging costs the American Cancer Society about $83.) If there is not a Hope Lodge in the city of treatment, ask when checking in if the hotel/motel has a special rate for cancer patients.
$1000 can help support an early career researcher turning to the American Cancer Society to investigate cancer, its causes, or how to help patients cope with the effects of the disease and its treatment. The effects of the disease and the treatment can be rough on the patient and sometimes last for a number of years or the rest of your life.
A special note to remember is that 93 cents of every dollar collected goes to the programs of the American Cancer Society.
Come and join others on Friday, August 21, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. to celebrate – remember – fight back – hope.
The Ely Relay for Life in the years we participated in this program has collected $592,000. Thank you for your support.
If you are a cancer survivor (whether 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, or more), family member, or caregiver, come to a Survivor Celebration Gathering on Sunday, August 16, at the Ely Clinic lobby from 2-4 p.m.

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