What is Relay For Life

History

It all started 25 years ago in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt decided to make a difference. In Tacoma, Washington Dr. Klatt wanted to raise funds for his local chapter of the American Cancer Society by running all night and all day. In May 1985 he embarked on what is now officially the first Relay For Life. Within 24 hours he traveled over 83 miles but more importantly he raised over $27,000!


He had visions of a bigger, greater event that was a team effort within his community to raise money for the fight against cancer. His visions came to fruition less than one year later and the first team relay event occurred raising over $33,000 with 19 teams. Now 25 years later there are over 3.5 million participants that take part in Relay For Life. There are now more relays than there are Walmarts in America with over 5000 events taking place every year here in the United States. But that's not all! The event is now in over 20 different countries around the world all striving to fight cancer.


The Relay For Life since its inception in 1985 has raised over 3 billion dollars to be put towards the American Cancer Society's mission statement: "The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service." It is through education, research, advocacy, and patient services that the American Cancer Society reinvests into fighting cancer. The funds have gone to 42 noble prize winners that without the money they were given to complete their research we would not have drugs live Tamoxifen which helps reduce the reduces the risk of Breast Cancer.


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