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Ogdensburg’s Relay for Life begins June 20

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The American Cancer Society is offering an opportunity to make a difference in the fight against cancer in Ogdensburg. The Relay For Life event will be held on June 20 to 21 on the OFA High School track. The event involves hundreds of participants who pledge to keep one member of their team walking for the entire 12 hours of relay. This symbolizes that “There Is No Finish Line Until We Find A Cure.”

The Relay event also honors cancer survivors as well as remembering those we have lost to cancer. The Relay event always starts off the Survivors’ Lap where cancer survivors take the first lap of the Relay. To honor the survivors all the other participants stand around the track and cheer and applaud as the survivors go by. There is different themed laps and contests throughout the night. At around 10pm there is a Luminaria Ceremony in memory and honor of all those lost to cancer. The ceremony also honors the survivors. White Luminaria bags are purchased by the community and loved ones from Relay teams then are placed around the track with a candle inside. all the lights on the track are turned off so only the bags are seen glowing. With a moment of silence for about an hour, relay participants walk around and look at all the bags while a slide show of survivors and lost loved ones is played.

The funds collected from Relay support American Cancer Society’s research, education, advocacy and patient services. Residence from St, Lawrence county alone spent 800 nights as ACS’s Hope Lodges in 30 cities across the country. At an average of $100 per night for a hotel, that is a savings of $80,000. On top of that the ACS also provides free wigs, and makeup to women who deal with the side effects of cancer treatments. ACS also provides a “Personal Health Portfolio” which has information about the persons own type of cancer and gives the person a place to keep documents such as their appointments, the hospital or office they are going to, and/or their course of treatment.

With the help of Relay For Life events, all proceeds go to the largest non-governmental organization to provide research funding to top scientists and facilities across the country to help better understand how to treat, and eventually cure many types of cancer. In 2013 ACS had over $400,000,000.00 (Million) dollars at work across the country. Of that $43,000,000.00 is at work at varies medical facilities here in N.Y. ACS have played a role in helping to develop several cancer fighting drugs, like herceptin, tomoxafin, and Gleevac. These are used every day to treat cancer patients.

When people reach out to the ACS 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year, 1-800-227-2345 (Only the ACS provides this service to cancer patients) they answer the phone and provide assistance / guidance to those who call. They offer the programs and services that they have and when they can’t meet the patients’ needs they use their database of “partner” organizations and provide people with other options to help meet their needs.

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