The Williams Lake Pipe Band leads the Relay for Life 2013 parade.

The Williams Lake Pipe Band leads the Relay for Life 2013 parade.

Relay for Life extends invitation to cancer survivors and caregivers

The Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life is a day of celebrating, remembering those we’ve lost and fighting back - it is a day of hope.

The Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life is a day of celebrating, remembering those we’ve lost and fighting back – it is a day of hope.

Relay For Life begings at 1 p.m. May 31 and will wrap-up at 1 a.m. June 1 at Boitanio Park.

The Relay will begin with local pipers leading the Celebrate Ceremony with the Survivors’ Victory Lap, as cancer survivors join together and walk the first lap around the track to show their strength in numbers.

“Each survivor will receive a free yellow T-shirt and will be encouraged to walk one lap around the track.  While they walk, a caring community of supporters will be cheering them on and showing their support,” says event organizer, Michelle McKinnon.

Walking in the Survivors’ Victory Lap allows each survivor to celebrate what they have overcome while inspiring and motivating the Relay teams to continue their fight.

There will also be a special survivor reception and hand-printing activity on the large survivor banner for cancer survivors beginning at noon.

For privacy reasons, interested survivor participants have to contact the Relay committee directly.

“If you know someone who is a cancer survivor, please encourage them to participate in the Survivors’ Victory Lap.”

Event organizers are also reaching out to caregivers to participate in the Remember Ceremony which is a chance for community members to honour friends and family members who are currently undergoing treatment and to remember those we have lost to the disease.

Luminary bags containing tea lights are placed along the track, with the tea lights being lit once it gets dark. The mood becomes more sombre, peaceful and reflective as participants think of their friends and relatives.

“This year, we are asking caregivers to participate in the Luminary Ceremony, with caregivers lighting a candle and sharing the name of their family member or friend and a few words about them to everyone gathered around the track,” says McKinnon.

Funds raised will be used by the Canadian Cancer Society to support life-saving research, policy changes, and support programs and services including lodge accommodations, transportation to treatments, and the Cancer Connection program which matches patients or caregivers with a trained volunteer with a similar cancer experience.

“We encourage all cancer survivors, caregivers, friends and family members to come and share this special event with us.”

For information  call Katie Hadden 778-267-0035 or Sue Tippie 250-392-3688.

Survivors may also register online at www.relayforlife.ca/williamslake. To participate in the Remember Ceremony, contact Michelle McKinnon 250-398-7887.

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