For the past year, a group of volunteers has been working tirelessly fundraising and seeking out teams and sponsors. The Rexburg Relay For Life is coming up on June 23, and the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, including community manager Kathy Dietrich and volunteers, are hard at work putting it together.
“It’s an event that we hold where we celebrate the survivors in the community, and our fundraising efforts,” says Dietrich. “Along with celebrating, we are remembering and we are fighting back against the disease together.”
Dietrich works in Rexburg, Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, and Pocatello to put on this yearly event for the American Cancer Society. Apart from recognition of those whose lives have been touched, she says that a big part of these events is to fund research.
“We’ve got to find the cure, not just make us comfortable with the disease,” Dietrich says. “We’ve got to get rid of it. And in order to do that, there’s research. The biggest percentage of our funds donated go to research. That’s how we’re going to eradicate the disease completely.”
Approximately 39.6% of men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lives. With such an intimidating statistic, there are few of us who have not seen the influence of this disease in our lives.
“There’s a huge appreciation once they understand what it is we do,” says Dietrich. “Not everybody understands the importance of research, especially when their loved one is going through a trying time…In reality, we’re trying to find a cure so they don’t have to go through that battle at all.”
The Relay For Life will take place at Madison Junior High School on June 23, from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Besides the relay, this event will include entertainment, fundraising, activities for children, and at dark, a luminaria ceremony to remember those we have lost to cancer.
“You can join a team or you can come out and just be on the track by yourself,” Dietrich says. “We’re not going to exclude you in any way. We love for the whole community to come out.”
Learn more about the relay at the event website, and for more information from the American Cancer Society call 1-800-227-2345.