Small steps can make
a big difference
Through the efforts of the American Cancer Society (ACS) every individual who suffers from cancer or is a caregiver to someone with cancer, can not only find much needed support but also the hope of someday finding a cure for all types of cancer through their extensive research funding.
Relay for Life is an event that takes place all over the country and is the culminating celebration for all of the fundraising done for the ACS and its plethora of patient services, as well as the much needed funding for cancer research.
North Snohomish County will be holding their own Relay for Life this June beginning at noon on Saturday, June 7 through 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 8 at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
Lake Stevens’ own Tracy Anderson is a co-chair for the event and also the captain of the Lake Stevens Kiwanis Club team. Anderson is a breast cancer survivor and an outspoken supporter and volunteer for ACS.
“I chose to be involved with American Cancer Society because they help raise funds for all types of cancer not just breast cancer,” Anderson said. “People don’t really know what the American Cancer Society does for people.”
ACS provides many more services than most people are aware of including camps for kids, college scholarship programs, a survivor’s network, wigs and breast prostheses, Man to Man support groups as well as support for women and children.
Other services they sponsor are ‘tls” which is a catalog that provides medical information and special products for women; Rooms for Life provides free, temporary housing for patients during treatment while away from home; Road to Recovery which provides transportation to and from treatments; Reach for Recovery which is designed to help people cope with their breast cancer experience and Look Good Feel Better, a program that teaches beauty techniques to women currently undergoing cancer treatment where women receive a free makeover.
Publicity/Sponsorship Chair for North Snohomish County Relay, Carol Funkhouser stresses the importance of the many services ACS provides and recalls her experience in trying to line-up rides to and from her treatments, five times a week for eight weeks.
“You’ve got people with cancer who don’t know they can call someone and get a ride to their appointments,” Funkhouser said, speaking of the Road to Recovery program ACS offers.
One of the biggest requests they get at the Everett Providence Cancer Resource Center is for patients looking for rides. They are always looking for people to volunteer to get patients to and from treatments.
The Relay for Life is an opportunity to celebrate all of the survivors, fundraisers and to remember all of those lost to the heart-breaking disease we know as cancer.
While the whole weekend is an experience to remember the most memorable moment for the cancer survivors is the Surivor’s Lap which kicks-off the Relay.
“It is an amazing feeling. You walk around this track and your thinking, ‘I did it, I made it through’. -- people line the track and applaud for you,” Anderson said. “There’s something about walking that lap together with people who know what you have made it.”
They also offer luminaries to remember those who have lost their battle with cancer and those who are fighting the battle right now. The track is lined with bags filled with candles as night approaches and are left out all night long.
This is the ninth year of the Relay for Life in North Snohomish County and the hope is that relay teams will be able to increase their fundraising from last year’s $155,000 to over $165,000 this year.
Anyone interested in starting a team of their own, there is still time. All you need is at least one person from your team walking around the track from noon on Saturday through 8 a.m. Sunday.
To register on online go to www.nsnocorelay.org or call Tracy Anderson at 425-315-3882.
For more information on the American Cancer Society and all it has to offer check out Cancer.org. There is also a 24-hour phone number and website for caregivers at 1-800-ACS-2345.